RHLI expands under Army Reserve Restructuring
Regiment Grows Into Burlington With Creation of New Infantry Company
It is the culmination of planning which began in 1994 with a Defence White Paper. Moving through several concepts, and including wide consultation of both serving and honorary Reservists, the Land Force Reserve Restructuring (LFRR) plan reached fruition in the fall of 2003 with the announcement of the start of Phase II.
The study concluded, "The current Army Reserve structure, which from a combat arms perspective is essentially the Army that fought the Second World War, is no longer sustainable and cannot answer the current defence needs of the country. Decisive change based on operational requirements, in keeping with national policy and sustainable with available resources, is the only logical course of action for LFRR. Its goal is to build a future Army Reserve that is essential, relevant, viable and sustainable."
The mission adopted for the LFRR Strategic Plan is "To develop, as part of the Army, an effective and credible Army Reserve for the 21st century, complementary and supplementary to the Regular Force and relevant to the needs of the nation". The goal by the end of 2006 is to have an Army Reserve of 18,500 part-time soldiers.
For The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, LFRR has had tangible benefits. The RHLI is one of the units selected to expand significantly. The chosen locale is Burlington, where the RHLI has been authorized to establish a new sub-unit, designated "C" Company, with Captain Gary McQueen in command.
At the media conference announcing the Regiment's expansion, Commanding Officer LCol Guy Smith told Mayor Rob McIsaac and MP Paddy Torsney that ... "The RHLI is going to give Burlington the attention it deserves." He added, "Burlington is a major city but it hasn't been a focus in terms of RHLI recruiting efforts until now." Temporary quarters has been arranged at the Royal Canadian Legion branch in the city's south end, at 828 Legion St, off Graham's Line, west off Brant, south of Fairview. A recruit course is underway now but recruiting efforts continue to continue to grow the company.
A number of activities have taken place, both before and since the announcement of LFRR Phase II - a recruiting display at the Legion; participation in Burlington's Remembrance Day; numerous school visits and a major exercise involving patrolling a key urban area of Burlington centred on the Legion and including Mapleview Mall. The RHLI is in Burlington to stay!
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