MILNEWS.ca News Update – 19 July 12
A few more highlights as my computer continues to be fixed….
- “Two Canadian CF-18 fighters under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted a commercial airliner near Quebec City, Que., (Monday). The fighters intercepted the airliner, which was on a transatlantic route, after it was not responsive to radio communication. The jet fighters were able to assist the civilian airliner in re-establishing radio communications with air traffic control, and the airliner proceeded without incident to its destination ….” - more here (Google News)
- Canada’s Commander-in-Chief and Defence Minister visit the troops on the big RIMPAC exercise (with how the Air Force is helping out and what one Canadian blogger makes of it so far)
- What’re Canadian troops up to in Congo? “Canadian combat arms officers Major Eric Morin and Maj Fabien Roy recently found themselves in unusually prominent roles during a recent operation in North Kivu, the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. As members of Task Force DRC, the team deployed on Operation CROCODILE, the two majors belong to the headquarters staff of the UN stabilization mission known as MONUSCO — the Mission de l’Organisation des Nations unies pour la stabilisation en République démocratique du Congo. During the run-up to Operation RADI STRIKE, a “clear” operation by the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) targeting two major insurgent groups, the two Canadians and a Tunisian officer formed the liaison team maintaining the link between the North Kivu Brigade of MONUSCO’s peace-support forces and the FARDC Eighth Military Region, the geographical command responsible for North Kivu ….”
- Way Up North “A search and rescue exercise begins in Yellowknife (this week). A Royal Canadian Air Force squadron, out of Winnipeg, will test its search and rescue team’s ability to conduct a major search far away from home. Major searches take place when first attempts by local search and rescue organizations to find a missing aircraft, vessel or person are unsuccessful. This week, flying crews will practice spotting people and dropping survival packs from the air, while para-rescue jumpers will parachute into waters and remote areas. They will also test their medical skills ….”
- Afghanistan (1) Former Canadian diplomat on getting beans and bullets into, out of the area “…. There seems to be something of a coherent plan for arming the Afghan ground forces this time around, with a mix of (mainly) U.S. and Soviet legacy equipment, but it’s the logistics post-2014 that will be the real killer. Until 1991 there was at least a common Afghan/Soviet border and a relatively uncomplicated resupply route. This time… the main NATO resupply route through Pakistan has just theoretically re-opened after being closed for a year. “Theoretically” is the operative word. The alternative Northern route through former Soviet Central Asia is grotesquely long and expensive. Iran is out. The answer, as with so many questions about Afghanistan, is nowhere obvious.”
- Afghanistan (2) Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister: BAAAAAAD attackers!!!!! “We were deeply saddened to hear about the targeted attack which killed Hanifa Safi, the Afghan government’s head of women’s affairs in Laghman province. Canada is deeply concerned by the recent upsurge in violence against women in Afghanistan. Canada was particularly shocked to learn of the public execution outside Kabul this week of a young woman for allegedly committing adultery. These cowardly acts, targeting one of the most vulnerable groups within Afghan society, show a complete disregard for the lives of Afghans. Those responsible should be swiftly brought to justice ….”
- Commentator on how much the current government is really helping the CF “…. No reasonable observer would dispute that this is a period of renewal for the Canadian military, but it’s hardly one impervious to the pressures of budgetary restraint, and not one that eclipses the spending levels of the 1960s or the 1980s. That context matters. It suggests that what’s going on now is neither as extreme as critics of defence spending might argue, nor as remarkable as the government would have us believe.”
- Veterans Ombudsman on the big SISIP class action court case “…. The Office has engaged with Veterans Affairs Canada to determine how the Department will move on a “go forward” basis. The issue of retroactivity and legal fees is a legal matter between the Canadian Forces as the policy holder and those involved in the class action lawsuit, which is likely going to take some time to negotiate. While we wait to see what the outcome of the negotiations will be and how it will affect the Department’s programs, the Office is recommending to Veterans Affairs Canada that they communicate clearly to Veterans how they are going to implement the “go forward” aspects of this decision that the Minister has committed to ….”
- “The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, was at Naval Radio Station (NRS) Aldergrove …. to announce the award of a $1.1million contract to Houle Electrical of Burnaby, British Columbia for the modernization of key parts of the station’s electrical equipment ….”
- “A Canadian naval officer charged with spying has elected to be tried by jury in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. Sub.-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle appeared in court Tuesday morning. He also asked for a preliminary hearing. Lawyers are to return to court Wednesday to determine a date. Earlier this month, Delisle had been expected to enter a plea on two charges under the Security of Information Act and a criminal charge of breach of trust, but his court appearance was put off in one of the many delays in his case ….” – more here.
- “A Quebec woman already accused of supplying weapons parts to Lebanon is now facing a terrorism charge. The RCMP says the charge follows an investigation that alleges Mouna Diab committed offences for the benefit of a contact linked to Hezbollah. Hezbollah has been considered a terrorist organization by Canada since December 2002. Diab was arrested in May 2011 at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle parts for an AR-15 rifle in her luggage. She was charged last October with illegally exporting weapons to Lebanon. A United Nations resolution prohibits Canadians from selling arms to anyone in Lebanon. A deeper investigation brought about a new charge: committing an offence for a terrorist group, a charge that carries up to a maximum of life in prison …..” – more here, and an “atta boy” from Canada’s Public Safety Minister here.