721 Communications Regiment could be facing some cutbacks

Dave Stewart
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One of Charlottetown's military reserve units could be facing some cuts.
Major Dave Pizio, commanding officer of 721 Communications Regiment, confirmed reports circulating recently that Canada's military is working to trim its budget.
Five of the eight full-time reservists at 721 Communications Regiment have been told their contracts may not be renewed in September.
"It's all in the planning aspect now and nothing is finalized,'' Pizio said.
"That's where we're at right now.''
The regiment's training operations have also been cut and training operations that normally take place in the United States have been cancelled this year.
"We're just waiting to find out as the decisions are made. There is no defined timeline right at this time. There is a tentative (change) come the fall but, again, there's so many things that are in the mix.''
Pizio said there no part-time cuts coming to the regiment.
"None whatsoever.''
The commanding officer said the unit's attrition is greater than its intake and it is actively recruiting for more members.
The regiment is allowed 83 positions but only has approximately 40 full- and part-time members.
"We want to increase our ranks, for sure.''
The P.E.I. Regiment, another reserve unit in Charlottetown, will not be facing cuts this year.

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Recent comments

  • Mike
    June 21, 2010 - 20:24

    Just curious why do we even have these jobs?

    Wouldn't these jobs be better filled by returning veterans who are fulltime military members and who have actually earned something.

    This reserve regiment reminds me of a want to be military regiment whose members actually just constantly train but actually NEVER go to war.

    Why do we even need these fulltime positions here?

    Maybe take the waste of money that is being spent of these NON Combat jobs and put the money to better use supporting our REAL Fighting Men & Women instead of a bunch of Saturday Morning warriors.

  • concerned graduate
    June 21, 2010 - 20:22

    Funny, they are always marginal Jobs when they are someone elses.

  • Undefended Islander
    June 21, 2010 - 20:13

    Unfortunately for these reservists, the lack of support by the taxpayers and politicians in providing the military with a larger budget has resulted in possible job loss. I am not saying people don't support the military, but they have to make this known to their MP's and MLA's. Until the politicians know that backing Military budget increases won't cost them their precious seat, they'll toe the line so the won't loose their big salary and benfits. The mention of CFB Summerside rasies a good question? Why are we Canada's only province that doesn't have a full time military base? Is it the Canadian Forces.. or is it the Mainland Canadian Forces. Much like our Soldiers, Sailor and Airmen, as Islander's we should do our duty and fight for what we deserve, a full time Military presence. The military says it wants to reflect the diversity of the nation, but yet doesn't reflect that in it's infrastructure. Make it known to your MP's and MLA's that our island deserves the benfits of a base. Even if the CF established a small training base to teach recruits or conduct leadership training, it would bring with it jobs, money into the local economy and a stronger pride in the forces. Why should every other province enjoy these benfits and not us?

  • Goldy
    June 21, 2010 - 20:03

    When many of the bases were constructed in Canada, including Summerside, it reflected the need for training for WWII. Everything after the war became political, we simply did not need as many bases. Numerous times Summerside was selected for shutdown, but politically it could not or would not be done. The Mulroney Conservatives finally did just that. Talk to many Summerside business people today, they'll tell you getting rid of that dependence was the best thing that ever happened to the city. As for Reserves, no they are not high paying jobs, Reserve service in Canada is Part Time, ( Yes I know there are many who do work full time, but this is akin to being a casual who works all year round on short contract) and members have another job as well, often the other job is the full time one. Regardless, politics is finding its way out of military planning these days, but the real cruncher are demographics. The military just does not have the people anymore. All they are saying is, it is no use trying to sustain a unit where there are only 7 or 8 members. There is another Army Reserve unit in Charlottetown, they'll simply be allocated to it. It makes no sense to have a military base just for the sake of having one. Everyone has lost bases, they just have a lot more people than 140,000. YOu have to take the four Atlantic Provinces combined to make up one of the other provinces if you want to do it that way, and out of the four Atlantic Provinces, how many bases and installations do you have? Beginning to sound like the Island whine.

  • Undefended Islander
    June 21, 2010 - 20:01

    As I know people who are in both the Reg. Force and Reserves, even Reg. Force members admit now that with the high demand placed on them due to Operational commitments and tours, they need the reserves. If you do some homework, you'll find out that Reservists are in Afghanistan, are manning ships 365 days a year, and made up a large portion of the security for for OP Podium, the militaries contribution to Olympic security. The weekend warrior image is slowing fading into the past, as the Reserves become more active and are facing battles that Reg. Force don't...like begging employers to hold their job for them while they go on tour. Saying that a resrvists who has made a commitment to this country doesn't deserve employment is a slap in the face to them. Both Reg and Reserve service have their share of hardships and to say that a Reg force person deserves a position in a Reserve unit over a reservist isn't on at all.

    Some of the fulltime positions that exist on PEI are clerks, recruiters, and building maintenance. All positions that need to be filled to ensure a Reserve unit can operate and the members can fill roles as required whether it be in Canada or abroad.

    If you don't know why we need reservists, or what exactly they do, take time to go to one of the 3 units here on the island and talk to some of the members. The only true way to know why we need these 'Saturday morning warriors' is to educate yourself.

  • Jake
    June 21, 2010 - 19:56

    These are very good paying jobs that PEI is loosing. It makes me wonder if they are just moving to NB or NS? Once these jobs are gone, they probably will never come back. We lost CFB Summerside as our main military presence on PEI, now it seems we are slowly loosing everything else too.

  • Too Bad
    June 21, 2010 - 19:55

    Well it is unfortunate but we do ned to cut back every where and that includes these marginal jobs.

  • Terry M
    June 21, 2010 - 19:46

    What a shame. There is no way the Regular Forces can expect to meet their commitments at home and abroad without the Reserve Force being available and fully trained to take on any and all tasks. I was a member of this proud Signals Unit(55-57) and went on to serve a toral of 34 years in Communications. I trained many of the present day Reservists and am darn proud of each and everyone of them.
    V V V

  • concerned graduate
    June 21, 2010 - 19:38

    Are any of you actually surprised? The Government is cutting everything back except for their pay cheques. Anyone in the health care field could tell you this. Hopefully there is more support for the Military then there has been for the RN's to date. To Mike from PEI, you're kidding right???!!! You asked why they even have these jobs??? My husband is in the REAL Forces, as you call them, and I am extremely proud of him...I am also proud of those men and women who are ready to stand behind him as a Reservist. I read a quote the other day that was very fitting..... If you won't stand behind our troops.....Try standing in front of them ...Think about it.