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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – July 29, 2014

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Written by milnewsca

29 July 14 at 20:00

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – June 18, 2014

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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – May 26, 2014

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MILNEWS.ca A.M. News Highlights – May 20, 2014

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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – May 16, 2014

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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – December 5, 2013

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  • Please do what you can to spread the message that folks who are having a tough time this time of year don’t have to suffer alone – #sendupthecount – more here (Facebook) and here (milnet.ca – disclosure:  I’m a moderator at milnet.ca)
  • Sylvain Lelièvre, R.I.P.   What the PM has to say  “Prime Minister Stephen Harper has weighed in on the spate of apparent soldier suicides that have rocked the Canadian Forces in recent days.  Harper says everyone should encourage veterans in need to reach out to the support and systems that are there to help.  The prime minister’s comments came hours after the Defence Department confirmed the military police at CFB Valcartier in Quebec are investigating the death Tuesday of Master Cpl. Sylvain Lelievre, from the 3rd battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment.  Lelievre is the fourth soldier believed to have committed suicide since last week.  Lelievre joined the Canadian Forces in June 1985 and was deployed to Bosnia between 2001 and 2002, and again in 2004. He also served in Kandahar from 2010 to 2011 ….”
  • What the PM said during Question Period yesterday  “Mr. Speaker, once again, let me just say, I think that this applies to all members of the House of Commons, all of our thoughts and prayers are with all of the friends and families of those who have been touched by these recent suicides.  I think it is the responsibility of all of us to encourage those who need support, those who need help, to get that help. We should reach out to them and encourage them to do that. Those supports are available and we will make sure, of course, that they continue to be available to those people …. those services are available at Service Canada offices across the country. This government has invested far more in services for our veterans.  As I just said, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends who have been touched by these events. It is the responsibility of all of us to encourage those who need support to get that support. We understand the difficulties that our military personnel have faced, and services are available to them …. a number of programs and services are available for our soldiers and veterans. They include the Canadian Armed Forces military assistance program, military family resource centres, the operational stress injury social support program, and the road to mental readiness program.  There are more, but the most important thing is that we understand that what our soldiers go through is not easy. The work they do is very hard, very dangerous and full of very difficult experiences. I think it is important for all of us to encourage soldiers who need help to get that help.”
  • What the Defence Minister said during Question Period yesterday  “Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister indicated, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, colleagues, and friends of these individuals.  Suicide is a tragedy, and we have a role to play in reaching out to those who are hurting and encouraging them to get help. I know that the Canadian Armed Forces has a confidential 24/7 toll-free telephone advisory and referral service. I would urge all of those who are going through a crisis to reach out.  There is help. We all have a responsibility to make sure that they know that …. we all have a role to play in making sure that the services are there for our men and women in uniform and indeed for our veterans.  The member indicated that she would like to see more money spent on health care, more investment, and there certainly has been under this government. We have almost doubled the number of health care professionals.  We all do what we have to do to make sure that these individuals are approached and in making sure that they know help is there. I urge them to contact the armed forces to have the services that are in place made available to them …. it was under this government that we created a joint personnel support unit to allow our ill and injured members to work with medical personnel, social workers, occupational therapists and others to help them transition back into civilian life. However, again, one of the things the member could do is start supporting the efforts we have made over the years to increase help to our veterans. That would be a first step, and I certainly would welcome that …. The Chief of the Defence Staff and the Chief of Military Personnel have assured me that members of the Canadian Armed Forces are not released until they are prepared for that transition. I remind the member opposite that every possible accommodation is made to ensure that soldiers are kept in the forces and provided with the best possible support before being considered for release. This is the least we can do for them.”
  • What the Defence Minister has to say about mental health  “…. As Canadians and members of the Canadian Armed Forces, we must all be vigilant of our subordinates, peers, superiors and family members. We need to watch for changes in behaviour, be ready to listen to our friends and aid them in seeking care if we think they need it.  Often, peers and family members are the first to notice behavioural changes such as increased anxiety, anger, sadness, negativity, avoidance and substance-use that could lead to mental health difficulties. When we notice these changes, we must not be afraid to act – do not underestimate the impact you can have.  I encourage those in need to reach out to their families, peers, supervisors, padres and medical professionals. Help is available at your base and wing clinics, via the member assistance program (1 800 268 7708), at your local emergency room or by calling 911 ….”
  • What the Chief of Defence Staff has to say about mental health  “…. For those of you currently combating mental illness, don’t avoid or delay accessing support services and treatment. If you have thoughts of suicide, help is immediately available by calling 911. Expert help is also available at your base and wing clinics, via the member assistance program (1-800-268-7708) or at your local emergency room. Reach out to your friends, family members, leaders, padres and medical professionals for support.  Self-stigma regarding mental health must end. Just as you would expect to be helped by your colleagues on the battlefield if you were physically injured, your brothers and sisters in arms are with you in the fight against mental illness.  Care is available to each of us. From private to General, from recruit to retirement; we’re a team and we’re there to support each other.”
  • The chorus of voices calling for more government aid in support of soldiers and veterans is growing as army officials confirmed the death of a soldier as the fourth apparent military suicide in a week.  The Canadian Forces said an investigation is underway into the death of a soldier at CFB Valcartier in Quebec. The soldier — 46-year-old Sylvain Lelievre — was reportedly a member of the Royal 22e Regiment.  Last week, the apparent suicides of three other Canadian soldiers raised questions about the services and care offered to troubled soldiers and veterans ….”
  • Veterans’ advocacy group e-mail newsletter on how keen politicians are to meet with them or union reps to discuss VAC office closures  “…. Peter MacKay is one of 26 Members of Parliament we have asked for meetings with – each is being asked to go on the record opposing the closures and to help us stop them. We asked for that meeting in October, but MacKay has so far been unable to find time to meet, something Ron Clarke took up with staff in his office while they were there ….”
  • Remembering one of the wounded in the House of Commons  “Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to pay tribute to the courage and determination of Corporal Alexandre Beaudin-D’Anjou from Pont-Rouge, which is in my riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.  Corporal Beaudin-D’Anjou proudly served in Afghanistan, where he was seriously injured by an improvised explosive device on December 6, 2009.  That tragic experience left him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but now he is overcoming his difficulties and taking on a major challenge.  Currently en route to the South Pole, Corporal Beaudin-D’Anjou is one of two Canadians on Team Soldier On who are taking part in the UK’s South Pole Allied Challenge. He and his team, made up of other injured veterans, will cross-country ski 335 km over a period of more than two weeks, braving temperatures as low as -50C.  His bravery merits our respect. He is a role model for each and every one of us.  Good luck on your journey, Corporal Beaudin-D’Anjou, and thank you for your exemplary service.”
  • Philippines/typhoon  “He’s halfway around the world doing work he did not intend to do, but Sgt. Tom Baker feels blessed to be in the PhilippinesThe 46-year-old father of four recently left 14 Wing Greenwood and is currently posted with 8 Wing in Trenton, Ont., where he is an air traffic controller.  Shortly after Nov. 8, when typhoon Haiyan killed thousands in the Southeast Asian country, Baker was told his special unit could be headed there.  He is part of 8 Air Communication and Control Squadron, which is a deployable air traffic control and communications unit. They have the ability to set up runway lights, air control towers, radar and can essentially create airports where they are needed within 72 hours ….”
  • The Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) will participate in Exercise Amalgam Dart, December 3 to 5, 2013, off the Canadian Atlantic coast, to practice intercept and identification procedures, as well as air-to-air refueling, as part of routine training …. Royal Canadian Air Force participation in Amalgam Dart will include the following air assets:  CF-18 Hornets from 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec; A CP-140 Aurora from 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia; (and) A CC-130T Hercules from 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba.  The majority of the Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft will be based at 14 Wing Greenwood and 5 Wing Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, with the CC-130T Hercules flying out of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador ….”
  • Great pix of Canadian troops and planes taking part in Exercise Serpentex in Corsica – more info from the Info-machine here
  • Congrats!  Twenty years after she joined the Canadian Army, people still ask Major Eleanor Taylor why she chose the infantry.  “Why wouldn’t you choose the infantry?” she repliesLooking for adventure outside the town limits of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Maj Taylor’s career in the Army has taken her to Kosovo, Bosnia and, in 2010, to Afghanistan where she was the first woman to command a Canadian infantry company in combat.  Most recently, however, it’s taken her to Toronto where she and Lieutenant-Colonel Krista Brodie were named to Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 list, compiled each year by the Women’s Executive Network.  “Having been nominated is an example of the Army’s commitment to championing its leaders,” says LCol Brodie, a logistics officer, currently serving as the Chief of Staff of the Canadian Materiel Support Group.  “I joined the Army because I wanted to serve our nation in a meaningful way, and the Army has offered countless opportunities to contribute to Canadian society and to help others around the world.”  With 25 years of service in the Army, LCol Brodie has qualified as a Military Freefall Parachutist, deployed to Croatia, Bosnia and Afghanistan, and was the first woman to command 1 Service Battalion ….” - a “way to go” from Canada’s army boss here, and more on the list here
  • Congrats, also, to Captain(N) Jill Marrack Deputy Commander Naval Reserve Naval Reserve Headquarters, who also made it into the
    Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 list
  • Academic on who decides whether countries go to war  “Over the weekend, the Globe and Mail’s Doug Saunders issued a call for caution in light of recent events in the East China Sea and in Iran: that militaries may push civilians into unwanted and lengthy conflicts.  Using lessons gleaned from the experiences of the First World War, Saunders rightly notes that militaries lacking oversight can provide civilians with so few options that war seems like the only choice.  The problem is that he then extends his analysis to Afghanistan, a war where the timetables were so very clearly driven by politics in Kabul, in Brussels, in Washington, and in Ottawa ….”
  • Way Up North (1)  Academic on why Canada’s keen on getting dibs on the North Pole  “…. “First of all bragging rights, of course. But the more important, and the part that really gets to why we’re spending so much money doing it and why the Russians and the Americans and the Danes are doing it, is the potential for oil and gas,” he said.  “We don’t know what is on the soil and sub-soil and that’s really what we’re claiming, basically gas and oil. But once we start looking at the types of resources that we are starting to find closer to the coastline, there is significant suspicion that you are going to find a lot of oil and gas up in that region and it’s that suspicion, of the amount of resources that are there, that’s really driving this entire process,” (Arctic expert at the University of Calgary Rob) Huebert said ….” – more on the latest here
  • Way Up North (2a)  “Russian naval forces are set to make the Arctic a priority region, boosting combat training and scouting lesser-known areas of the icy territory in 2014, a navy spokesman said MondayThe Northern Fleet will conduct sailing and diving expeditions in the Arctic and develop a series of ice-class patrol ships to protect the country’s interest in the region, said Vadim Serga, a captain First Class and spokesman for the fleet’s Western Military District.  Russia has already begun deploying aerospace defense units and constructing an early missile warning adar system near the far northern town of Vorkuta. Completion of that system is planned for 2018 ….” – more here and here
  • Way Up North (3b)  Russian border guards are apparently getting specially-heated uniforms for the cold Arctic weather – click here if you can read Russian, here if you trust Google Translate
  • Way Up North (3)  “As China’s presence in the Arctic grows, international attention also grows. This paper clarifies China’s interests in the Arctic and touches on future trends in this regard ….”
  • Way Up North (4)  “The four U.S. senators from Washington and Alaska are seeking to authorize construction of as many as four new heavy-duty icebreakers, vastly expanding the Coast Guard’s beleaguered Seattle-based icebreaker fleet.But with a price tag of $850 million or more per vessel, the odds of Congress going along seem about as good as a snowball’s chance in the warming polar climate ….”
  • A bail hearing for a Canadian naval engineer accused of trying to send classified information on Canada’s shipbuilding strategy to China has been postponedQing Quentin Huang, 53, from Waterdown, Ont., appeared in a Toronto courtroom Wednesday, wearing a black shearling jacket over a blue button-down shirt.  He spoke briefly to his lawyers from the prisoner’s box before the matter was adjourned to Monday, Dec. 9 ….”
  • Libya  “The United States, Italy, Britain, and Turkey have agreed to train thousands of Libyan troops to counter the instability caused by the numerous and often opposing militias that remain powerful there more than two years after the overthrow of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi.  The United States will conduct its training in Bulgaria. Britain, Italy, and Turkey will theirs in their own countries. It is expected that current militia members will be among the recruits, although the United States will vet names supplied by the Libyan Defence Ministry to exclude hard-line Islamists.  Canada, which played an active role in the armed uprising against Gadhafi’s regime, has not said it will take part in this training mission. But Jean-Bruno Villeneuve, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, says Canada is “considering other ways to help further Libyan security sector reform.” ….”
  • Canada:  BAAAAD North Korea!  “Canada strongly condemns North Korea’s continued belligerence and provocative actions. I am pleased to announce that Canada will implement additional sanctions on North Korea, in accordance with United Nation Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2094.  This resolution, co-sponsored by Canada, sends a clear message that the international community will make every possible effort to halt the country’s reckless pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.  The current path of the regime will only result in further isolation.  North Korea continually scorns its international obligations, while ignoring the fundamental human rights of its people, who continue to suffer under its dictatorship ….”
  • From the “WTF?” File  “Giving Santa Claus and his reindeer a military fighter jet escort on Christmas Eve amounts to manipulative military marketing aimed at defenseless young minds, a Berkeley child psychologist says ….  NORAD, the joint U.S.-Canada military force that protects our skies as well as runs the beloved Santa Tracker each holiday season, is under fire. The reasons? A video that shows Santa and his reindeer accompanied by a military fighter jet escort ….” – more here
  • And NORAD’s response?  “As it has every year since 1955, the North American Aerospace Defense Command will be tracking Santa on his whirlwind journey to deliver presents to all the good little boys and girls around the world.  But he won’t be escorted by armed fighter jets.  When NORAD recently launched its yearly online Santa tracker, the site featured a video showing the jolly old elf being escorted by U.S. fighter jets “bristling with missiles,” as the Boston Globe put it.  That caused a minor earthquake in the Twitterverse about why Santa would need an armed escort. The answer: Russia.  But a NORAD spokesman confirmed to Military Times that the “missiles” are actually fuel tanks.  “Guilty as charged, we tried to give it a more operational feel this year; that was purposefully done to try to highlight our mission sets,” said Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis. “If you look at the second promo video we have where it talks through a mock training exercise, it really lays out what our different missions are and shows the different radar sets.”  So while NORAD will be tracking Santa’s flight this Christmas, if St. Nick gets into a tussle with some MiGs, his only defense will be the evasive capabilities of his reindeer ….”  At least it reduces the odds of this happening, I guess.
  • And what will be Canada’s contribution to Norad’s Santa tracking?  “The Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Region is set to track and escort Santa Claus during his annual visit to Canada and has selected four CF-18 fighter pilots for the high profile job.  Lieutenant-Colonel Darcy Molstad and Captain Sébastien Gorelov of 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron from 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec, will conduct the first escort duties to welcome Santa into Canada when they join him off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.  As Santa zooms across Canada and approaches the Ontario-Manitoba border, escort duties will switch to Captain Rich Cohen and Captain Brian Kilroy of 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron from 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta ….”

Written by milnewsca

5 December 13 at 7:55

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – October 16, 2013

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Written by milnewsca

16 October 13 at 7:45

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – March 19, 2013

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Written by milnewsca

19 March 13 at 7:45

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – March 11, 2013

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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – February 5, 2013

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  • Mali (1)  Canada’s ambassador to the European Union is expected to stay quiet during a major meeting in Brussels (today) where the international community will be gathering to discuss the situation in MaliAmbassador David Plunkett will be among those from 45 countries as well as the United Nations, African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the World Bank talking about ways to bring peace and stability to Mali.  But Plunkett will not announce any increase or expansion to Canada’s role in the country, which has largely involved providing humanitarian assistance and deploying a heavy military transport aircraft to help France move troops and equipment into the West African nation.  A government source said Canada will continue to watch developments in Mali, where Islamic militants are on the run in the north of the country, and may make further contributions in the future, including financial support for the African-led military force poised to take over from  French troops who have routed the militants.  “I don’t think we expect this will be a short game,” the source said, noting elections to return Mali to democratic rule won’t be held until July.  However, all indications remain that the government is not interested in getting dragged into the conflict ….”
  • Mali (2a)  Columnist on the fight ahead  “…. While France’s initial military objectives have been met, it is evident that the crisis in Mali is the tip of a much larger regional powder keg. Like stepping on one side of a water balloon, pushing the Islamic Maghreb and Tuareg separatists out of Mali has only built up pressure elsewhere.  Even with the addition of 3,300 troops promised by the Economic Community of Western African States, the Malian security forces will be hard pressed to hold the French military’s gains on their own.”
  • Mali (2b)  rabble.ca column’s take  “…. The west has been in perpetual war with Muslims of all kinds ever since 9/11, never quite winning. As the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald has reminded us, Mali is the eighth country in the last four years where western countries have killed Muslims. Shouldn’t the aim in Mali be to determine realistic goals before we kill again?  In the meantime, Canada should be a generous humanitarian donor to Mali’s refugees and displaced people ….”
  • Mali (2c)  Another writer aching for the days of the blue beret (question:  can the peace be “kept” if both sides haven’t agreed yet to stop fighting?)  “…. Within the next few weeks, the U.N. Security Council may well authorize an U.N.-led peacekeeping mission to stabilize Mali after the French-led combat mission ends. The success of the peacekeeping mission will turn, in large part, on whether well-trained soldiers from the developed world are involved.  It’s a mission tailor-made for Canada; one that Pearson would undoubtedly have embraced.”
  • Mali (3)  More on whazzup in Mali here (Google News), here (EMM Explorer) and here (France’s defence ministry’s daily update in French)
  • Syria  Can you spare a few bucks to help someone (allegedly) wanting to fight the good fight?  This from kijiji (also here if previous link doesn’t work):  “I am a ex cdn soldier with experience looking for sponsorship so I can go train and fight with the Free Syrian army. I need to gather about $10,000 for the mission to be successful.”
  • Joshua Caleb Baker, 1985-2010, R.I.P.  It was an emotional day of testimony inside the trial of a former Canadian Forces Commander.  Retired Warrant Officer Paul Ravensdale pleaded not guilty to six charges including manslaughter in death of Corporal Joshua Baker. The 24-year-old died during a training accident in Afghanistan in 2010.  Four other soldiers were injured.  Those soldiers testified for the first time Monday.  They told the military court on Feb. 12, 2010, the only thing standing between them and the C-19 they were learning to use was their body armor. The prosecution says Ravensdale should have never let that happen.  They were standing out in the open when two C-19 land mines, also known as claymores, were set off during a training exercise.  Cpl. Joshua Baker was killed when shrapnel from one of the explosions backfired.  The commander, now retired Warrant officer Paul Ravensdale has pleaded not guilty to six charges including manslaughter and breach of duty ….”
  • Need info on the foreign bases that aren’t really foreign bases?  This from the CF Info-machine, just updated about a week ago.
  • Libya  Curiouser and curiouser  There’s a kind of Mission Impossible vibe to the relationship between Cyndy Vanier and SNC-Lavalin, the Montreal-based international engineering giant enmeshed in allegations of corruption and consorting with dictatorsVanier, a Canadian consultant who worked for SNC-Lavalin, has been languishing in a Mexican prison for more than a year while a judge there decides if she was part of a plot to spirit Saadi Gadhafi out of Libya as his father’s dictatorship crumbled under a rebel onslaught in 2011.  According to CBC News, Vanier insists she was hired by SNC-Lavalin controller Stephane Roy, under orders from executive vice-president Riadh Ben Alissa, for a legitimate “fact-finding” trip to Libya.  Mexican authorities allege she was helping set up an exit route for Gadhafi, a senior commander in father Muammar Gadhafi’s regime, and smuggle him and his family into Mexico under false identities. Gadhafi eventually escaped to Niger, Libya’s neighbour, and has been given asylum ….”
  • Vets’ Ombudsman latest report“…. by not providing applicants with copies of documents retrieved and submitted to disability adjudicators, applicants are denied their participation rights and the right to a fair hearing, including the right to be aware of the information that will be considered by adjudicators (the right to disclosure), the right to provide their own information and to challenge the information available to decision-makers, and the right to determine the relevance of information provided to adjudicators. For these reasons, the current practice is procedurally unfair ….” - more from the media here and here.
  • The Government’s Response“The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, …. launched the “Right to Fairness Implementation Plan” to cut red tape for Veterans applying to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) for disability benefits.  The plan addresses the recently issued Ombudsman report entitled “Veterans’ Right to Disclosure: A Matter of Procedural Fairness.” It consists of new measures that will ensure Veterans and their families have a better understanding of the Department’s disability benefit application process for considering information and how that information is used to make a decision on their applications ….”  We’ll see ….
  • In other ombudsman news….  The Canadian Forces ombudsman says the Harper government has an opportunity now to help military families who’ve suffered huge home-equity losses by amending proposed legislation that’s before ParliamentPierre Daigle testified Monday before a House of Commons committee that’s studying C-15, the latest attempt in a decade-long struggle to overhaul the military justice system.  Since 2007, as many as 146 applications for reimbursement have been denied to military families for losses they’ve taken after selling their homes because of forced transfers to different parts of the country.  The problem could be solved by giving the country’s top military commander the full power to make one-time payments in grievance cases, Daigle told the all-party Commons defence committee.  “This is an unfairness that people serving this country are facing, and all we want is to solve this unfairness,” Daigle said in an interview with The Canadian Press following his testimony.  The legislation being studied by the committee has been before Parliament several times, in different forms, over the last 10 years without being passed ….”
  • HMCS Ville De Quebec is taking part in an composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) with the Aircraft Carrier USS Harry Truman, as a memeber of the 1st Combined Destroyer Squadron (1CDS) 1CDS members currently include USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Gravely (DDG 107), the German ship FGS Hamburg (F220), and the Canadian ships HMCS Ville De Quebec (FFH 332) and HMCS Preserver (AOR 510); USS Monterey (CG 61), USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and USS Kauffman (FFG 59).  COMPTUEX is a series of training scenarios designed to certify HSTSG as a deployment-ready fighting force capable of completing operations in overseas theaters ….”
  • Way Up North  Head’s up for military training in northeastern Ontario all the way up to Ontario’s James Bay coast  “Canadian Forces personnel from across Ontario will conduct military training in the vicinity of Cochrane, Fraserdale and Moosonee, Ontario, from February 8 to 26, 2013, as part of Exercise TRILLIUM RESPONSE 2013.  Soldiers and military vehicles, including snowmobiles, will be seen in these areas, as well as low flying aircraft including large transport aircraft and helicopters. Military vehicles can be expected to travel at reduced speeds and motorists are advised to exercise care and patience when encountering military vehicles and soldiers on foot or on snowmobiles. Soldiers will be using blank ammunition and pyrotechnics; loud noises may be heard ….” 
  • More on Jointex 2013  “In anticipation of a variety of potential future operations, the Canadian Forces are currently engaged in a series of training exercises they began planning three years ago, collectively named JOINTEX 13, which will prepare them to take on a leadership role in multinational expeditionary operations.  ““JOINTEX provides a predictable, repeatable, and adaptable means to learn and improve, allowing us the critical opportunity to play it out in training before living it out in actual operations,’” said Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command.  JOINTEX will prepare the Canadian Forces to lead a Combined Joint-Inter Agency Task Force Headquarters (CJIATF), with 1st Canadian Division Headquarters at its centre, responsible for planning and conducting coalition full-spectrum operations with multinational military forces and both governmental and non-governmental agencies.  ““This training allows us to further develop our replication of the contemporary and future operating environments in the live, virtual, and constructive training domains – all at the same time and in multiple locations,”” said Major-General John Collin, Commander 1st Canadian Division.  While the majority of planning and coordination for the exercise takes place at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston, there are also approximately 1,000 Canadian Forces members taking part in the exercise through simulations across Canada because the exercise is computer-assisted ….”
  • Columnist on Ministers not getting all the information they need (or want)  “…. Canada needs a military, and it needs an effective, capable one. But that requires civilian oversight, as much for the military’s benefit as the taxpayers’. It seems increasingly clear that right now, we don’t have that. And it’s hard to see how that will change any time soon.”
  • Academic on what the Army should be preparing to do  “…. With instability throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East, the future of warfare looks likely to be dominated by insurgencies and failed states. Still, the war drums beating in northeast Asia over the Korean peninsula and the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands hedge against the possibility of a traditional state on state conflict marked by conventional capabilities. There are no easy answers to the question of what future Canada must demand its Army to prepare for. The Army clearly wishes to have as much capability it can get out of the state while Canadians might prefer to have only so much capability as we can afford. Hybrid warfare is a great concept to hedge bets, but one that doesn’t shed too much light on the space between those two positions, or on the hard decisions of deciding what Canada’s Army is for.”
  • Canada’s Defence Minister drops by Norway  “…. the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, concluded a visit to Norway, during which he held bilateral discussions with his Norwegian counterpart, Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen …. This visit provided both Ministers an opportunity to share insights and understanding on a wide range of issues and deepen Canada-Norway bilateral defence ties ….”
  • Columnist on how the navy spy trial could be drawing Canada’s eye from the real threat  “…. In this century, authoritarian regimes may be more interested in, say, the government’s deliberations over allowing a Chinese state-owned enterprise to acquire a Canadian oil company than in military intelligence. Stealing intellectual property may be a bigger catch than ferreting out double agents ….”
  • Note to headline writers:  is it “spying” when most of the information is out in the public domain?  The Mounties compiled a dossier on the Occupy Ottawa movement, scouring social media sites and even quizzing campus security after protesters held planning sessions at a university, newly released documents show Meeting notes show there were also plans to monitor the Confederation Park protest site using a camera mounted to the nearby offices of the National Capital Commission.  The camera is normally pointed at Ottawa’s city hall, the notes say. However, the NCC says it does not operate the camera and it did not use the device to monitor the protests from its offices.  The documents show NCC staff did keep close tabs on the makeshift encampment throughout the occupation, snapping dozens of photographs and reporting on the protesters’ activities.  Details about the surveillance tactics are only now coming to light, some 14 months after police ousted the Occupy Ottawa protesters from Confederation Park in late November 2011. It took the NCC until last week to provide documents in response to an access-to-information request from The Canadian Press ….”  No word on whether the documents are being shared, so no clue what else is there.
  • More on those OTHER squadrons that helped win the Battle of Britain (10 page RCAF Info-machine PDF)
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