MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 3 Nov 11
- Afghanistan (1) Government of Canada Info-Machine shares latest newsletter about what’s up in Afghanistan, with a mix of “packing up in Kandahar,” “training up the Afghans” and “it’s not JUST military help” stories.
- Afghanistan (2) NATO Info-Machine tells us about poppies on Canadians for Remembrance Day in Afghanistan.
- Kevin Megeney, 1982-2007, R.I.P. Court martial of soldier charged in Megeney’s death continues.
- Veterans’ Week kicks off in the House of Commons (and the Bloc Quebecois isn’t allowed to speak?) Discussion also available (7 page PDF) here.
- David Braun, 1979-2006, R.I.P. This year’s National Silver Cross Mother named: “The mother of a Saskatchewan infantryman killed in Afghanistan in 2006 will be the National Silver (Memorial) Cross Mother, the Royal Canadian Legion has announced. Patty Braun is the mother of Cpl. David Braun, a member of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. While on patrol in Kandahar on Aug. 22, 2006, he was killed in an explosion triggered by a suicide bomber. She lives in Raymore, north of Regina. In her new role, she will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Remembrance Day on behalf of all mothers who have lost sons or daughters in the military, para-military or RCMP in the service of Canada. Originally from Semans, Mrs. Braun works for the Horizon School Division in the Raymore School ….” More here.
- “The widow of a Second World War veteran wants to honour her late husband’s memory by wearing his military medals on Remembrance Day, but in doing so she risks being arrested. Madrien Ferris of Charlottetown has kept the 10 medals her late husband Albert earned during his 30 years of service with the Canadian Armed Forces carefully stored in her home —and now she wants to wear them. “He earned them. He deserved them,” said the 79-year-old. “I want them to be out there for him because he’s no longer around to wear them.” ….”
- Justin Stark, R.I.P. Remember the death of a soldier at a Hamilton armoury? The family has issued an obit.
- Government of Canada Info-Machine Timelines (1) CF-18 pilot crosses 50 mission line in Libya, shared a month later (OK, I’ll cut some slack for protecting the identity of a pilot in combat).
- Government of Canada Info-Machine Timelines (2) CF helicopters in Jamaica pass 200 mission mark, shared two weeks later.
- Government of Canada Info-Machine Timelines (3) Minister to greet returning Libya mission folks, shared the day before it happens.
- Government of Canada Info-Machine Timelines (4) Associate Minister announces a purchase, shared the same day. “The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, and Chris Alexander, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, today announced the award of a $31.1-million contract to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) for the building of two Unclassified Remote-sensing Situational Awareness (URSA) systems ….” (more on the deal here)
- Government of Canada Info-Machine Timelines (5) Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs heads Canadian team at South Asian talks, photo shared same day.
- Globe & Mail columnist keeps an eye out for the budget cutting axe at Defence. “This week, for the first time since Stephen Harper took office, there are no Canadian Forces on combat operations overseas. Now, the military is being thrust into the peacetime battle over budgets. But the map of the battlefield is out of date. The government’s 2008 long-term defence strategy still rests on spending budgets which are currently being cut. The strategy needs an update …. soon, before the choices shrink, the government’s going to have to say how it’s going to fit the military it planned for in 2008 into the realities of 2011.”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1a) “The Conservative government’s approval of the multi-billion dollar F-35 plan was held up for over a year by reluctant Industry Canada officials who were angry with the U.S. manufacturer of the stealth fighter, say internal Defence Department documents. Frustrated air force planners said the delay damaged the program and the country’s aerospace industry, which was left hanging while the dispute over a previous purchase played out behind closed doors. Industry Canada blocked the federal cabinet’s “consideration/decision” of a replacement for the country’s aging CF-18s because of “concerns over a C130-J In-Service Support contract issue with Lockheed Martin,” said a May 17, 2010 briefing note prepared for the chief of air staff. The document, obtained under access to information laws by The Canadian Press, was written just weeks before cabinet finally agreed to purchase the F-35. The decision was announced publicly in July 2010 and set off firestorm of criticism that continues to this day ….” Guess what? No indication The Canadian Press is going to share the “obtained” documents.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1b) “Military planners are concerned the Conservative government is buying too few F-35 fighters with almost no room for any loss of the stealth jets throughout their projected lifetimes, according to internal Defence Department briefings. “Canada is the only country that did not account [for] attrition aircraft” in its proposal, said an undated capability-and-sustainment briefing given to senior officers late last year. The eye-popping pricetag for individual joint strike fighters — ranging from $75 million to $150 million, depending upon the estimate — has limited the purchase to 65 aircraft. ….” Guess what? No indication The Canadian Press is going to share the “obtained” documents.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Mark Collins compares and contrasts a former Navy officer’s assessment of the F-35 buy with that of a former Air Force pilot and aircraft fleet manager.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (3) “Staff from the federal auditor general’s office travelled to Texas in September to review progress on the F-35 stealth fighter program for a report that will be released next spring, Postmedia News has learned. The news comes as Australia prepares to ask Canada and other allies to perform a joint study of the program’s delays, and amid concerns from the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester over the speed with which the project is being pushed through safety checks. Officials within the auditor general’s office and Lockheed Martin, the company leading the multi-billion-dollar F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, confirmed the Canadian visit to Fort Worth, but would not say much else. “We do site visits during the normal course of our audits,” said Celine Bissonnette, a spokeswoman at the Office of the Auditor General. “We are planning a report in the spring of 2012, tentatively titled, ‘Replacing Canada’s Fighter Jets.’ However, we regret that we are not able to comment any further on audits in progress until our report has been tabled in the House of Commons.” Bissonnette said the audit’s terms of reference, which outline exactly what is being investigated, will be revealed about a month before the final report is made public. Lockheed Martin spokesperson Kim Testa said the Canadian officials were conducting an “assessment of program progress.” ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (4) MORE questions in the House of Commons.
- Editorial on subs for Canada: “…. Eventually Canada will have to decide whether it wants to purchase nuclear subs at $3 billion a copy, or stay with the diesel-electric variety, which have limited capability in the Arctic because of their need to surface to recharge batteries, although new technology has extended their ability to remain submerged for longer periods of time …. Canada should, however, remain committed to the platform, since submarines provide a variety of valuable services, including patrolling the coasts, intercepting smugglers, guarding our economic rights, contributing to scientific research and assisting our allies. With three coasts to defend and worldwide interests to monitor, the submarine is still relevant to Canada’s overall defence requirements.”
- What’s Canada Buying? Software to help develop better armour (or armour-piercing munitions) – more in bid document extract (4 page PDF) here and someone to teach security and survival to Kingston CF members to work outside the wire (try here – PDF – if link doesn’t work).
- “A former soldier battling a series of health problems says the Canadian Forces failed to inform him that medical tests showed he was carrying an unusually high level of uranium. Pascal Lacoste eventually filed a request under the Access to Information Act to see his own medical files, which revealed his hair samples contained “abnormally elevated” amounts of the metal. The federal government has expressed doubt about cases like Lacoste’s and, in an interview, one independent medical expert questioned the reliability of using hair samples to test for uranium levels ….” Meanwhile, an editorial calls for having all vets tested for depleted uranium.
- “Master Corporal Paul Franklin has become well known across Canada for conquering many challenges, but none as difficult as his passion and purpose in life after losing both legs. Paul was nearing the end of a second tour of duty in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber attacked his convoy. His left leg was gone; the second had to be amputated. That was in January 2006 and three months later, Master Corporal Franklin walked with artificial legs for the first time. On Thursday, Nov. 3rd you can meet Paul Franklin, a Canadian hero, then ask why he supports the Canada-wide Heroes Hockey Challenge series …. Heroes Hockey Challenge™ is a series of national hockey charitable fundraising events to take place in six cities across Canada. The funds raised by Heroes Hockey Challenge will benefit all wounded Canadian soldiers and their families with particular emphasis on amputees. The six Heroes Hockey Challenge events during the winter of 2012 are designed to motivate Canadians to support our heroes ….”
- “Canada’s financial intelligence agency pinpointed more than 100 transactions that may have involved terrorism-tainted cash last year — part of a record number of disclosures to police and spy services. In its annual report released Wednesday, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre says it passed along information about 777 dubious dealings in 2010-11, the most in its history. Of these, 626 were related to suspected money laundering, while 103 concerned possible terrorist activity or other threats to Canadian security. Finally, 48 may have involved both financial support of terrorists and the laundering of illicit cash — a process that involves converting the proceeds of crime into another form, such as stocks or property, to disguise the money trail ….” More from the money trackers here (FINTRAC news release) and here (FINTRAC report link).
Written by milnewsca
3 November 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Afghanistan, Bloc Quebecois, C130-J, Celine Bissonnette, Chris Alexander, David Braun, Deepak Obhrai, depleted uranium, Dettwiler and Associates, F-35, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, FINTRAC, Heroes Hockey Challenge, Industry Canada, Joint Strike Fighter, Julian Fantino, Justin Stark, Kim Testa, Libya, Libyan unrest, Lockheed Martin, Louis Plamondon, MacDonald, Mark Collins, military news, milnews.ca, National Silver Cross Mother, Odyssey Dawn, Office of the Auditor General, Operation Mobile, Pascal Lacoste, Patty Braun, Paul Franklin, Poppies, Remembrance Day, Task Force Libeccio, Unclassified Remote-sensing Situational Awareness, Unified Protector, URSA, Veterans Week