Wednesday, June 01, 2005

More on the R291 trade

An article in the 25 May 2005 edition of Maple Leaf provides more information about the new Reserve Communicator Research occupation.
The new occupation will both complement and augment (where necessary) Regular Force operations in three broad areas: tactical electronic warfare, strategic signals intelligence and linguistic support. ...
Currently there are over 100 members of 772 EW Squadron in Kingston, Ont. whose primary mission is to provide augmentation on operations to their Regular Force counterpart, 2 EW Squadron. The Res Comm Rsch occupation has been developed with the Army in mind to produce a better communicator in-theatre by broadening their knowledge of SIGINT. Personnel who understand strategic SIGINT capabilities and capacities while working the EW mission at the tactical and operational level will provide commanders with better information faster. ...
“A Reserve Communications occupation will pay significant dividends by helping sustain current and future CF operations, thus reducing the toll of high operational tempo,” said Col Dave Neasmith, commander of the Canadian Forces Information Operation Group (CFIOG). The operational demands on Communicator Research personnel have steadily grown. With only 600 Regular Force personnel in the occupation, deploying personnel to all theatres and to sea has placed a severe strain on its members who must also maintain 24/7 support to all theatres via CFIOG units here in Canada.
Only 600 Reg Force 291ers? The PML in 1998 was 665, so this new number probably shouldn't come as a surprise, but CFIOG's establishment was recently reported to be 900. Granted, that number would also include other trades, and it was acknowledged that the Group is not at full strength. But maybe the Reg Force number is also soon to go up?

Retraining of 772 EW Squadron personnel will begin in 2006. Other Communication Reserve units will also be involved:
In addition to the unit in Kingston, a troop will be established in Ottawa at 763 Comm Regiment to provide operational support to CFIOG. This troop will supply Res Comm Rsch operators on a full- and part-time basis to augment their Regular Force counterparts at CFS Leitrim, as well as deploy into theatres of operations. To address the need for personnel with specialized language skills, five test sites have been initially chosen to recruit native speakers—Victoria, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal and Halifax. By reallocating existing Comm Res positions from across Canada, the goal is to have the complete Res Comm Rsch occupation fully staffed by 2009-2010.
Still no word on the CFIOG Support Dets proposal, however, unless the plan to recruit specialized language speakers is part of or has now replaced that idea.

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