Posts Tagged ‘ATIP’
- Afghanistan Canadian flag coming down from over Kandahar Airfield - more here (photos from the CF Info-Machine), here and here.
- One blogger’s view of “Libya vs. Afghanistan” ceremonies: “…. After decades of Liberal governments treating the military like high-grade bathroom attendants, the Harper Tories have moved in the opposite direction. Now even a light bombing campaign is worthy of celebration. Oddly the Afghan mission has not yet rated such a grand ceremony. The cynical might suggest this has something to do with our efforts in Afghanistan being unpopular ….” (h/t to Mark for pointing to this one)
- “The Canadian Forces is slowing its pace of recruitment after the Afghanistan mission, because of a lower turnover and a troubled economy. Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson said the military’s regular force strength is now in “very healthy” shape at about 68,000 members. Attrition is also down — with economic uncertainty and excitement for the job likely factors — which can make matching desired targets tricky. “That’s a very tough machine to manage,” Donaldson told the national defence committee Thursday. “But we have not stopped recruiting. In fact, we continue to recruit, because you need to keep the machine oiled and to keep new blood coming through, but fewer than before.” The Canadian Forces is now focused on finding people with specialties and technical trades, and providing spots for reservists who served in Afghanistan and want to switch to regular forces ….”
- The CF’s Top Doc Commodore Hans Jung on waiting times for troops to get psychological counseling: “…. The timing for an initial specialist mental-health-care appointment depends on whether a case is emergent, urgent or routine. In emergency situations, patients are accommodated the same day through the base clinic or civilian emergency care. If a case is urgent, the patient is seen within two weeks. And if the case is routine, the target is for the patient to see a specialist within 30 days ….”
- Remember the Minister needing a helicopter ride from a lodge to another engagement? Well, some e-mails seem to suggest the chopper ride may have been more…. requested by the Minister than offered by the CF (well done to the Toronto Star for sharing the e-mails in question (PDF), obtained via an Access to Information Act request). One officer’s e-mail is intriguingly prescient: “…. The request from MacKay’s office went out to senior air force officials on Tuesday July 6 at 8:49 a.m. It took just a few hours for then-Col. Bruce Ploughman, director of the Combined Aerospace Operations Centre in Winnipeg, to raise a red flag. “So, when the guy who’s fishing at the fishing hole next to the minister sees the big yellow helicopter arrive and decides to use his cellphone to video the minister getting on board and post it on Youtube (sic), who will be answering the mail on that one,” he wrote to colleagues in Ottawa and Winnipeg. “If we are tasked to do this we of course will comply,” Ploughman continued. “Given the potential for negative press though, I would likely recommend against it.” ….” More from CBC.ca, the Globe & Mail and Postmedia News (they haven’t shared their obtained documents yet). Here’s the back-and-forth during yesterday’s Question Period in the House of Commons.
- If you believe this historian and this web page, Canada may be working with other NATO and Middle Eastern countries to at least discuss “humanitarian corridors” in strife-filled Syria. “…. Monday, Nov. 28, debkafile reported a group of military officers from NATO and Persian Gulf nations had quietly established a mixed operational command at Iskenderun in the Turkish Hatay province on the border of North Syria: Hailing from the United States, France, Canada, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with Turkish officers providing liaison, they do not represent NATO but are self-designated “monitors.” Their mission is to set up “humanitarian corridors” inside Syria to serve the victims of Bashar Assad’s crackdown. Commanded by ground, naval, air force and engineering officers, the task force aims to move into most of northern Syria. Laying the groundwork for the legitimacy of the combined NATO-Arab intervention in Syria, the UN Independent International Commission set up to assess the situation in Syria published a horrendous report Monday, Nov. 28 on the Assad regime’s brutalities. It documented “gross violations of human rights” and “patterns of summary execution, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture including sexual violence, as well as violations of children’s rights.” ….” Caveat lector.
- F-35 Tug o’ War: More on the pricetag. “The federal government is under attack again over the true costs of buying stealth fighter jets for the air force. “Apparently the Norwegians are getting 52 F-35s for $10 billion while we’re getting 65 for $9 billion,” said Liberal MP Frank Valeriote in a Thursday defence committee meeting, citing comments from Norway’s defence minister in November. Asking Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino to explain the discrepancy, Valeriote raised anew the possibility that the government has lowballed the estimated purchase price. “I too spoke with the secretary of defence of Norway and they’re into a different kind of a world in Europe, requiring different armaments and so forth to what we are, in fact, looking at,” said Fantino. “It’s very difficult to compare dollar for dollar, but at some point in time we’ll be able to speak all these issues more fully.” ….” More here, here and a bit more (from the archives) from Mark Collins.
- What’s Canada Buying? “You might call it good blood money. Defence departments in Canada and the U.S. are jointly funding a scientific study to examine the optimal ratio for plasma and platelet to red blood cells. Work will be carried out by the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, which includes health research organizations from both sides of the border that conduct clinical research in areas of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and traumatic injury. Canada will contribute $220,000 to the study, which Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson believes is critical to the troops Canada sends into harm’s way. “We’re funding it to keep people alive,” he said Thursday during an appearance at the defence committee. “Loss of blood is the greatest risk of death to the wounded soldiers on the battlefield, so it’s very much in our interests to tend to our people, to fund research in different ways of replacing blood, and stopping bleeding.” ….”
- “A Korean War veteran living in Regina is disappointed after someone spray painted obscene graffiti on the east side of the cenotaph in Victoria Park. Ken Garbutt says the people who did it are “idiots” and the act is sacrilegious. The City of Regina has since cleaned it up, but Garbutt is not impressed. “Our cemetery, the U.N. cemetery, is in Busan (City, South Korea) and you never hear of anything of this nature. They are kept in the best shape possible,” said Garbutt. Garbutt maintains there should be stiffer penalties for people who deface war memorials ….” Veterans Affairs Minister agrees this is not good. Tory MP from Saskatchewan says he’s glad to see federal government supporting new law to impose harsher penalties against those who do this sort of thing.
- A bit of mainstream media coverage of the proposed “opt out of paying for the military” Private Members Bill (now including proposed text (PDF) of the bill) making its way through the Parliamentary sausage machine. A fair bit of wide-ranging discussion and option consideration, as well, over at Army.ca. Caveat: These bills have VERY little chance of passing without government party support.
- That time of year again: NORAD’s Santa Tracking web page – www.noradsanta.org – is good to go.
Written by milnewsca
2 December 11 at 7:45
Tagged with access to information act, Afghanistan. Kandahar, ATIP, Bashar Assad, Bruce Donaldson, Bruce Ploughman, C-217, cenotaph vandalism, Combined Aerospace Operations Centre, debkafile, F-35, Frank Valeriote, Hans Jung, humanitarian corridors, Jack Granatstein, Joint Strike Fighter, Julian Fantino, Kandahar Airfield, Ken Garbutt, Libya, Mark Collins, mental health, NORAD, Operation Athena, Peter MacKay, Question Period, Regina, Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, Santa, Syria, UN Independent International Commission, Victoria Park, www.noradsanta.org
- Way Up North (1) As Canada says it’ll focus its northern presence on “disaster training” (fourth bullet), DND is looking for someone to train military personnel to plan arctic search and rescue operations - more in the Statement of Work downloadable here (4 page PDF)
- Way Up North (2) Speaking of search and rescue …. “The military has struck a handshake deal to have part-time volunteers provide first response search and rescue services in the Arctic, CBC News has learned. Military officials have been negotiating with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASRA), a national agency that promotes aviation safety and provides air search support. The new deal would see CASRA put volunteers aboard civilian planes to search for downed aircraft, missing hunters or lost adventurers, CBC’s James Cudmore said. The agency will even base planes in four locations across the North ….”
- Way Up North (3) And what kind of sled would be used for surveillance patrolling? “The future of Arctic sovereignty will be riding on traditional Inuit wooden sleds that are being assembled by a group of Canadian Rangers in Yellowknife. The nine Rangers have been tasked with building more than 30 qamutiks — sleds that are traditionally used to haul supplies over snow and ice — for use in guarding remote northern regions and promoting Canada’s claim of sovereignty over the Arctic. The Rangers, who were commissioned by the Canadian Ranger Patrol for the sled surveillance project, all hail from Nunavut and include six people chosen from Clyde River and three from Pond Inlet ….”
- From the MP that brought you the “let’s not have to pay for the military” bill, another Private Members Bill, this time on creating a Department of Peace. Caveat on both these bills: Private Members Bills have a miniscule chance of passing without government support.
- In spite of the recent unpleasantness in/around the U.K.’s embassy in Tehran, Canada’s keeping it’s facilities open for now.
- Credit where credit is due: Postmedia News says it will post ATIP-obtained documents with a recent story on the French-version “fracas” behind renaming Canada’s Air Force. I look forward to the documents being shared.
- Afghanistan (1) Welcome home TF Canuck folks! More here.
- Afghanistan (2) “Hundreds of sea containers stuffed with military gear that were supposed to be returning to Canada are instead languishing at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan because of Pakistan’s decision to close its border to NATO, a military spokesman said Wednesday. Lt.-Cmdr. John Nethercott said the border closure isn’t expected to affect the military’s imminent withdrawal from Kandahar, though he acknowledged there could be complications if Pakistan doesn’t reopen its borders soon. “We’re assessing the situation,” he said. “At this point, there’s no impact on our withdrawal of personnel and no immediate impact on our efforts to repatriate equipment back to Canada by land and sea.” About 1,200 troops are in Kandahar packing up for the imminent end of Canada’s military presence after six years in the southern Afghan province. They have until the end of the year to wrap up their work. High-priority and sensitive equipment is being shipped out by air, while the rest was to be sent by convoy across the Afghan-Pakistan border and down the 1,600-kilometre route to the Indian Ocean for transport by sea. Nethercott said there are containers already gathered at a port in Pakistan, where they were waiting to be loaded onto a ship once the remainder arrived. The containers being held in transit in Afghanistan are not at the Kandahar Airfield, he added, though he would not say where they are. It’s likely they are close to the Afghan-Pakistan border ….”
- “The families of at least four unmarried soldiers killed in Afghanistan have stepped forward to file human-rights complaints. The relatives allege Veterans Affairs discriminates in favour of married troops in the payment of a $250,000 death benefit, The Canadian Press has learned. The cases, which are at the investigation stage, follow the dismissal last week of a similar complaint by the parents of Cpl. Matthew Dinning, who died in an April 2006 Kandahar roadside bombing. A federal human-rights tribunal rejected the complaint of Lincoln and Laurie Dinning because Veterans Affairs abruptly decided to recognize their son’s girlfriend as his common-law spouse, technically making him no longer single. Errol Cushley, the father of Pte. William Cushley, and Beverley Skalrud, the mother of Pte. Braun Scott Woodfield, confirmed they have launched their own challenges of the death stipend, which was instituted as part of an overhaul of veterans benefits in 2006. The families of Trooper Jack Bouthillier and Trooper Marc Diab have launched similar complaints. “You have four men killed in the same battle, three of them are paid $250,000, (but) William does not qualify because he is single. It doesn’t make any sense to me,” said Errol Cushley, who lives near Wallaceburg, Ont. “I always understood you couldn’t discriminate on those grounds.” ….”
- Mark Collins reminds us Canada Command seems to cover more than JUST Canada anymore.
- What’s Canada Buying? Wanted: someone to help find better ways to see what shape the oil, fuel is in while the vehicle’s running.
- Hamilton’s Mayor is hiring a former Reserve CO to be (what appears to be) an on-call military consultant. “A military consultant and a municipal affairs expert are the two newest additions to Mayor Bob Bratina’s staff. In an email sent to councillors Tuesday afternoon, Bratina announced that Lieutenant Colonel Geordie Elms — a defeated Progressive Conservative candidate in October’s provincial election — will take on the role of senior adviser of military heritage and protocol. “Hamilton always has been, historically, a military town. It continues to be. We had 400 people from Hamilton in Kandahar,” Bratina said in an interview. “So it’s important to have a liaison between the mayor’s office and the city. Municipalities have a set of skills and it doesn’t usually include the military.” Former city clerk Kevin Christenson will take on the job of municipal analyst. Bratina said Christenson’s role will be to provide advice and guidance on city issues. “There’s not necessarily a focus,” Bratina said of Christenson’s role. “He may tell us that based on how our office is operating, it may be better to do that or do this,” he said. The two men will act as consultants on an as-needed basis, Bratina said. They will be paid, though the mayor declined to reveal their compensation ….”
- At one level, it appears the Cold War never really ended for some countries. “Picture it: a junior executive, excited to be travelling to Hong Kong representing his company at the table with potential Chinese investors. Little does he know, they’ll be the ones doing the courting — and the consequences, for his career, and his company, can cost millions. It happens all the time, says Brian McAdam, a former Canadian diplomat who now specializes in Chinese organized crime. “It’s the co-mingling of the oldest profession, and the second oldest profession: prostitution and espionage,” he said. McAdam, who spoke Wednesday at the Canadian Industrial Security Conference in Gatineau, said Canadian business people and government officials who frequently travel abroad are prime targets for “sexpionage” because, until now, Canadians have been “as babes in the woods,” only recently becoming aware that foreign spies will pay good money to steal our ideas. “Sexpionage is far more effective than any technological surveillance by satellite or anything else,” said McAdam. “It’s so easy and it doesn’t cost much: They hire a prostitute, she does her work, and they have a film — instead of complex spying.” Those who favour the technique — in particular, China and Russia — use hidden cameras and microphones to up their spygame ….” More here.
- “Abousfian Abdelrazik, the Canadian citizen labelled a national-security risk by the Harper government and kept in forced exile for years, was taken off the UN Security Council terrorist blacklist Wednesday, ending his nearly decade-long ordeal. On being told of the delisting, Mr. Abdelrazik “shouted for joy, and then he wept,” his lawyer, Paul Champ, said. “You could hear his children cheering and clapping,” at their home in Montreal. The delisting removes the stain of being labelled an al-Qaeda operative in the secretive UN process and vindicates Mr. Abdelrazik’s long-standing assertion that he was never a jihadist, nor the paymaster, plotter or terror-cell leader as portrayed by the United States and echoed by Canadian agencies. The removal from the UN’s 1267 terrorist blacklist represents a second significant victory for Mr. Abdelrazik. The first was his return to Canada after a federal court in 2009 ruled that the government had trampled his constitutional rights and said Canadian Security and Intelligence Service agents were complicit in his imprisonment abroad. The government still refused to pay for his return, leaving ordinary citizens to buy the airline ticket ….”
Written by milnewsca
1 December 11 at 7:44
Tagged with Abousfian Abdelrazik, Afghanistan, arctic training centre, ATIP, Beverley Skalrud, Bob Bratina, Braun Scott Woodfield, Brian McAdam, Canada Command, Canadian Industrial Security Conference, Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, Chinese intelligence, Errol Cushley, Geordie Elms, ground search and rescue, GSAR, Hamilton, Iran, Jack Bouthillier, John Nethercott, Kandahar, Kandahar Airfield, Laurie Dinning, Lincoln Dinning, Marc Diab, Mark Collins, Matthew Dinning, MERX, military news, milnews.ca, Pakistan, Paul Champ, Postmedia News, Russian intelligence, senior adviser of military heritage and protocol, sexpionage, Sudan, Task Force Canuck, UN’s 1267 terrorist blacklist, veterans affairs, William Cushley
- “As Christmas gets closer, the Canadian NORAD Region has put the finishing touches on plans to track and escort Santa Claus when he visits Canada, and has selected four CF-18 fighter pilots who will act as Santa’s official escorts. 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Sylvain Ménard, and Major Eric Haas, an exchange officer from the United States Air Force, will launch from 3 Wing Bagotville, Que., to welcome Santa as the sleigh approaches Canadian airspace. 409 Squadron Commander, Lt.-Col. Eric Kenny, and Captain Chad Ireland of 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., will take over the escort duties as Santa makes his way into Western Canada. Special NORAD SantaCams, positioned around the world, will take photos and video of Santa and his sleigh as he journeys around the world. The SantaCams instantly download the photo and video imagery so that it may be viewed by children worldwide on the NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, on December 24. All of this information will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Chinese ….” Let’s hope these pilots are nicer than the ones we see here (YouTube video).
- In related news, Air Canada jumps aboard the “NORAD Tracking Santa” bandwagon, too. “…. The NORAD Tracks Santa program has grown immensely since it was first brought onto the Internet in 1998 and Air Canada is NORAD Tracks Santa’s newest partner. Air Canada has been playing the NORAD Tracks Santa promotional video on all of their flights since the beginning of December, as well as displaying a NORAD racks Santa promotional page in all of their in-flight magazines ….” One hopes Santa gets better service than some we hear flying with Air Canada.
- If you believe Angus Reid’s latest poll, a lot of Canadians don’t seem happy with Canada’s new task in Afghanistan. “While just over a third of Canadians support the country’s military mission in Afghanistan, the decision to keep 950 soldiers in a strictly non-combat role after 2011 has split views across the country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found. In the online survey of a representative national sample of 2,023 Canadian adults, more than half of respondents (56%, +1) oppose the military operation involving Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, while just over a third (36%, +1) support the mission. Strong opposition to the war remains highest in Quebec (48%) while Albertans (19%) and Atlantic Canadians (18%) are more likely to strongly support the mission …. Methodology: From December 3 to December 6, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 2,023 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.” More details here (13 pg. PDF). Then again, depending on how you read it, a slim majority of Canadians are OK with the mission, too – more from the Globe & Mail.
- The only Wikileaks story I’m going to share is right here. What a shock! Canadian officials met to talk about possible harm caused by Wikileaks revelations! “Concerns over a cache of WikiLeaks documents on the war in Afghanistan prompted Canadian military and intelligence officials to hold two secret summer damage assessments. The concerted effort to sift through and analyze the 91,000 classified U.S. military logs reveals how seriously the Harper government took the unprecedented late July leak about coalition operations in the bloody, long-running war. The Privy Council Office’s Afghan Task Force met July 29 to “review and assess the impact of the leaked documents” on Canadian government programs related to Afghanistan, newly declassified memos say. Officials from the PCO, the government’s bureaucratic nerve centre, Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Public Safety and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service gathered in an Ottawa boardroom to discuss what each “has been doing, intends to do and their assessment to date” regarding the leaked documents. The Canadian Press obtained CSIS minutes of the meetings, originally classified secret, under the Access to Information Act. Portions of the memos were withheld from release ….” Dear Canadian Press: Any chance of being able to share these memos with the public?
- So, the U.S. President has released some details of the administration’s latest assessment of the fight in Afghanistan. Is it good news? Mixed news? Bad news? Hell, even the Taliban’s commented on it already (links to Scribd.com). You be the judge – here’s the summary released yesterday.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged in Kandahar, Uruzgan & Zabul.
- What’s Canada Buying? Research into better decision making, another try at armoured vehicle pre-bids and (misspelled) swords.
Written by milnewsca
17 December 10 at 7:45
Tagged with 3 Wing, 4 Wing, 409 Squadron, 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, access to information act, Afghan Task Force, Angus Reid, ATIP, Bagotville, Chad Ireland, Cold Lake, CSIS, Eric Haas, Eric Kenny, military news, milnews.ca, NORAD Tracks Santa, Overview of the Afghanistan and Pakistan Annual Review, PCO, Privy Council Office, Public Safety Canada, SantaCams, Sylvain Ménard, Wikileaks, www.noradsanta.org
The good news: if you want to read the entire released report, the National Post team has shared it online here (PDF).
The bad news: there’s no obvious link on the same page as the story – it took me some Googling about to find it.
Good start, though – let’s hope more media outlets start doing more of this sharing.