New Canadian Combat Support Brigade is ‘champion of Army enablers’

Article / April 6, 2018 / Project number: 18-0120

By Steven Fouchard, Army Public Affairs

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Halifax, Nova Scotia — 5th Canadian Division (5 Cdn Div) has officially assumed authority over the Canadian Army’s (CA) newest Brigade, the Canadian Combat Support Brigade (CCSB) in an organizational shift that one officer says will make 5 Cdn Div “the champion of Canadian Army enablers.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Eleanor Taylor, 5 Cdn Div’s senior planning officer, said it is a logical home for the CCSB in part because it was already home to a number of ‘enablers’ – units specializing in functions such as  intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as engineering and artillery, that play supportive roles in operations or exercises.

“Before we took the CCSB on, we had two Reserve brigades: 36 and 37 Canadian Brigade Groups,” LCol Taylor explained.

“We also had direct report units: 4th Regiment (General Support) and 4 Engineer Support Regiment.We were really 60 per cent into the enabling game already. We had full understanding of how to employ and manage these capabilities, and so we were appropriate to be assigned the niche role, and that is to be the champion of Canadian Army enablers.”

CCSB’s core mandate is the oversight and training of CA enabling functions.

Five units with forces currently located in New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta now report to the CCSB Headquarters which itself is located in Kingston, Ontario:

  • The Canadian Army Intelligence Regiment,
  • The Influence Activities Task Force,
  • 21 Electronic Warfare Regiment,
  • 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support), and
  • 4 Engineer Support Regiment.

On April 5, the Division welcomed Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander Canadian Army, and more than a hundred other guests to 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown in New Brunswick to mark the transfer of command authority with a parade reception and other special events.

LCol Taylor, who was closely involved with planning aspects of the transfer, said the consolidation of enablers under a single roof at 5 Cdn Div will not only unite units with similar roles and needs but create efficiencies.

“For example, of the five units of the CCSB, four of them, plus the Headquarters, are still developing as units; they’re still being built, they still have people that need to be assigned to them. They have very similar challenges.”

“And once they’re eventually all built to their optimal state,” she added, “we can start to analyze how we can capitalize on the similarities, how we make sure they’re effectively aligned with their mandates. Rather than being the only thing of their kind in a division, and sometimes forgotten about, they become a substantial part of 5 Cdn Div’s work,” she noted.

“So it’s wonderful. It’s very exciting.”

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