MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – October 30, 2012
- “General Tom Lawson was officially appointed as Canada’s new Chief of the Defence Staff for the Canadian Forces (CF) during a Change of Command ceremony held (yesterday) at the Canadian War Museum. The event was presided over by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, and marked the official transfer of the Command of the CF from General Walt Natynczyk to General Tom Lawson. The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, as well as the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence were also in attendance ….”
- PM: Gotta trim the behind-the-front-end budget “….Harper pointedly used the change of command ceremony — with the military’s senior leadership in attendance — to warn that the defence department is facing the same belt-tightening that is forcing cutbacks in other departments. “The forces will also be subject to the same pressures that the uncertainties of the global economy impose across our government,” Harper said. “The forces must be restructured to ensure administrative burdens are reduced and resources freed up for the frontline,” said Harper, who is reportedly unhappy with the pace of savings in the military. Calling for “more teeth and less tail,” Harper said the goal is a “modern, general purpose” military that must be equally adept at providing disaster relief as well as delivering lethal force ….” – more on that here.
- New CDS: Less fat than ya think to trim “…. “I would like to say there’s very little fat,” said Lawson, who suggested savings can be had by winding down overseas missions, such as the current training operation in Afghanistan, due to end in 2014. “Instead of speaking of fat, what we can speak of is now coming out of those combat missions. Let’s bring our platforms and our people back as efficiently as we can, so that we can ensure that any dollars we’ve got under those resource lines can go to bolstering those military capabilities.” ….” – more on that angle here and here.
- Afghanistan (1) “It promises to be an emotional tribute to the soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in Afghanistan. A memorial for soldiers killed in Afghanistan will be installed Saturday afternoon Drain Brothers Construction, of Norwood, is the contractor. When the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial is officially unveiled Nov. 10, it’s expected more than 1,000 people will fill Bain Park and watch as the granite monument bearing the names of 158 Canadian soldiers is revealed to the public. The memorial is close to where repatriation ceremonies take place at the beginning of the fallen soldiers’ journey along the Highway of Heroes, from Trenton to Toronto. About 175 family members of soldiers killed in Afghanistan will be at the unveiling ….” – more on the memorial here.
- Afghanistan (2) “Time will tell what happens in Afghanistan after Canada withdraws its troops in 2014, but a Thompson Rivers University professor says the effort has been a success for the Canadian military. “I think it’s been a success in that we’ve upgraded our ability to intervene effectively,” Nick Gammer, a political-sciences professor at TRU, told KTW. Gammer, who earlier this month presented a paper on Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan at a conference at Ball State University in Indiana, said what happens in the future will be up to Afghans. “I think, like a lot of foreign events we participate in, we had little choice but to participate in this kind of multi-lateral intervention,” he said. “As for what will be left on the ground in Afghanistan, I think you will see a stalemated situation for quite some time.” ….”
- “A helicopter squadron from the Canadian military unit that deals in counterterrorism will be conducting training in downtown Hamilton on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Helicopters from the 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron will be operating at a low altitude near Stelco Tower on King Street West. The squadron is part of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, which also contains the Joint Task Force 2 (JTF 2) that’s responsible for counterterrorism operations and armed assistance to other government departments. The helicopters will approach Stelco Tower at a low altitude from a variety of directions, hover over it for a brief period, and then repeat the process to help pilots become proficient with the procedure. The training is set to occur between 8 p.m. and about midnight. The squadron says if training is cancelled due to inclement weather arising from Hurricane Sandy, the flights may be rescheduled for Thursday night ….”
- “The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, will make an important announcement in his continuing efforts to cut red tape and deliver better and faster service to Veterans and transitioning Canadian Armed Forces personnel“ today.
- War of 1812 MORE buildings being named for famous folk “Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today announced that the historic building located at 32 Church Street in St. Catharines, Ontario, will be named the Laura Secord Building to honour her role in the War of 1812 …. The building was constructed in 1956 and is located at 32 Church Street in the St. Catharines Farmers Market and City Hall area. It is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, the workmanship of its construction, and its influence on the character of the area. More information on the building’s history can be found on the Parks Canada website ….”