MILNEWS.ca News Update – 12 July 12
Didn’t want to leave you COMPLETELY without news, so here’s some of the latest while my main computer remains in the computer clinic ….
- Afghanistan (1) “Canada is vowing to keep helping the women and girls in Afghanistan now that its military’s combat role has ended in that country. The federal government announced Sunday that Canada will give an additional $227 million in aid between 2014 and 2017. “A primary focus of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan is the promotion of a better and more equitable future for women and girls,” Christopher Alexander, parliamentary secretary for national defence, said ….”
- Afghanistan (2) Yeah, yeah, trust us – it’ll be enough. “Canada and other major donors sought to assure Afghanistan that development aid will not dry up when foreign troops leave the country by pledging billions of dollars through 2015, on the condition the money is not squandered through corruption or mismanagement. Weariness after more than a decade of fighting, and exasperation over the inability or unwillingness of President Hamid Karzai’s government to tackle rampant corruption and graft, have weighed on the international community’s resolve to keep supporting Afghanistan ….”
- Afghanistan (3) Canada’s helping out (along with Japan) to fight drugs in Afghanistan, too.
- Afghanistan (4) Canadian-owned security contractor faces legal action “The family of a California soldier killed in Afghanistan sued a military contractor for rehiring an Afghan national as a security guard after he allegedly threatened to attack U.S. troops and eventually killed two service members and wounded four others. The federal wrongful death lawsuit filed Monday claims Tundra Strategies failed to document threats made by Shir Ahmed and didn’t tell U.S. military officials about the danger he posed before the March 2011 attack at Forward Operating Base Frontenac ….”
- Way to go militaryminds.ca! “When Afghan veteran Cpl. Chris Dupee decided to record and upload his grim experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder, he had no idea whether anyone short of his immediate family would be interested. In the macho world of the infantryman, ‘fessing up to a perceived weakness doesn’t come easily, but Dupee had a vague notion that soldiers listening to his story might find the strength to tell theirs. “My only goal was to give people a voice,” said Dupee, who served with Petawawabased 3RCR (Royal Canadian Regiment) during his 2008-09 Afghanistan tour. “I wanted to build the stage for the everyday soldier and it’s snowballed.” He built the website, and then the Facebook page, and they came: almost 11,000 military members and supporters from Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and 16 other countries ….”
- Way Up North More calls for drones to keep an eye on Canada’s north, and some very good recent discussion over at Milnet.ca on why it might not be as cheap as one might first suspect.
- What’s Canada Buying? “SED Systems has won a $5.1-million subcontract to supply power control modules to the Department of Defence’s Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III Upgrade Project. Pat Thera, president of the Saskatoon-based company, said the project will support 15 full-time jobs over the three years of the contract. The subcontract is part of the federal government’s $1.064-billion contract awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C) in October 2011 ….”
- What’s Canada (not) Buying (anymore)? “The federal government has slammed the breaks on a multimillion-dollar program to replace the military’s aging trucks. Companies had until 2 p.m. ET today to bid on a contract for new medium-sized logistics trucks for the Canadian Forces. The trucks would have replaced the current fleet, dating from the 1980s and reaching the end of its service life. But Public Works emailed bidders three minutes before the deadline to let them know the contract has been cancelled. The department says “economic, marketplace and budgetary circumstances have changed” since the former Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor first announced the program in 2006. Public Works told bidders the government needs to reassess the program “to ensure that the right equipment is acquired for the army at the best value for Canada” before going ahead with any purchase. The Defence Department referred questions to Public Works, which was not immediately available to comment ….” – more here.
- What’s Canada Buying (in a way that kinda sucks, according to the Defence Minister)? “Defence Minister Peter MacKay says a deal to buy a long-promised new fleet of helicopters for the air force is the “worst procurement” in Canada’s history. Last month, Sikorsky International Operations missed a deadline to begin delivering the first batch of 28 CH-148 Cyclones. MacKay, who was in Halifax today for a shipbuilding announcement, said the federal government is pushing as hard as possible to deliver the choppers. The new helicopters are intended to replace the nearly half-century old Sea Kings, which have been plagued by technical problems. The first Cyclone was originally due in November 2008, but there have been numerous delays and cost overruns with the procurement ….”
- Welcome to the new Top Doc of the CF “Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier assumed the duties of Surgeon General for the Canadian Forces (CF) from Commodore Hans Jung in a ceremony held today at the CF Health Services Group Headquarters. The change of command ceremony was presided over by Rear-Admiral Andrew Smith, Chief of Military Personnel, in the presence of senior CF leaders and notable national health officials ….”
- From the CF Info-machine: Lookit all those shiny new officer cadets from southern Ontario!
- What’s Canada Buying (that’s going OK so far)? “The new Boeing CH-147F Medium-to-Heavy-Lift Helicopter for Canada is progressing ahead of schedule after making its first flight on June 24. “Boeing and the Canadian Department of National Defence are focused on delivering the next generation of advanced vertical-lift aircraft to meet the needs of the Canadian military today and well into the future,” said Leanne Caret, Boeing Vertical Lift vice president and H-47 Programs manager. The inaugural flight lasted more than 80 minutes and confirmed the initial airworthiness of the aircraft ….”
- BAAAAAAAAAAD African Muslim extremist terrorists! “A cache of intelligence found on the body of Al Qaeda’s African leader, and inside the bullet-ridden Toyota truck he tried to ram through a Somali government checkpoint, provides a chilling look at the global aspirations of Somalia’s al Shabab. Obtained exclusively by the Toronto Star, the meticulously prepared documents that detail plots for a kidnapping and attacks on the prestigious Eton College, Jewish neighbourhoods and the posh Ritz and Dorchester hotels in London, were uncovered last year when senior Al Qaeda leader Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, 38, was shot dead by Somali forces ….”
- “US Navy divers plan to search …. the wreck of a US Air Force airplane that sank in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in 1942 for the remains of five American crewmen, an official said. Canadian underwater archeologists accidentally discovered the wreck of the amphibious aircraft in 2009 during routine work, about two kilometers (1.2 miles) off the coast of the village of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Quebec. A 50-person US military recovery team “will conduct underwater excavations to search for the remains of the victims as well as any of their personal belongings,” Parks Canada said in a statement. The Catalina seaplane had foundered in rough weather on November 2, 1942, in the waters surrounding what is now the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve in the eastern part of the gulf. It was based at Presque Isle, Maine, in the United States, and serviced an airfield in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) northeast of Montreal ….” – more from Parks Canada here.