Posts Tagged ‘border security’
- Pile On the Defence Minister About The Planes/Choppers! (1a) PM Stephen Harper continues to back his man (the Minister, anyway). “…. Mr. Harper, however, said all Mr. MacKay’s flights were legitimate. “When he has used them, they’ve been for important government business,” the Prime Minister told the Commons. He invoked fallen soldiers in defending his minister, saying half of Mr. MacKay’s flights were to attend repatriation ceremonies where the remains of dead troopers were returned to Canada. “Half of those flights are for repatriation ceremonies so that he can meet the families of those who have lost their loved ones in the service of this country. He goes there to show that we understand their sacrifice, we share their pain and we care about them,” the Prime Minister said ….” And this was so different from the CDS’s work before the much-maligned, and un-PM-supported, trip to rejoin his family how? More from the guys who started the pile on here.
- Pile On the Defence Minister About The Planes/Choppers! (1b) Here’s Hansard’s version of what the PM said in the House of Commons yesterday: “…. the Minister of National Defence has participated in some 55 repatriation ceremonies for over 80 lost Canadian service personnel …. This minister uses government aircraft 70% less than his predecessors. Half the time, he does so to attend repatriation ceremonies for soldiers who gave their lives for our country. That is why we have such great respect for the Minister of National Defence on this side of the House of Commons …. When this minister pays his respects to the families of our fallen soldiers I expect the official opposition to support us and the minister by showing respect for these families.”
- On the CDS and plane trips. “…. Tradition suggests Gen. Natynczyk is heading into the final months of his term as Chief of the Defence Staff. He led our Canadian Forces through the successful completion of our combat mission in Afghanistan — one that elevated Canada’s military reputation around the world. We should allow him to bask in the afterglow that follows a job well done.”
- Afghanistan (1) Columnist Joe O’Connor seems underwhelmed at how Canada handled fast-tracking Afghan translators to move to Canada. “…. Interpreters, or ’terps, in the dusty lingo of life in the Afghan war theatre, were vital to our mission as translators, cultural guides — and as Afghans — who understood what Afghanistan was all about. One imagines that these Afghans thought they knew what Canada was all about after Mr. Kenney launched the program: a land of opportunity, of safety — and a just reward for a job well done. It is a pity that isn’t true.” Not exactly – it was only true for 1 out of 3 who applied (glass half empty version), or it was true for more than 500 terps (glass half full version).
- Afghanistan (2) NDP MP Anne-Marie Day congratulates ROTO 10 in the House of Commons: “I am deeply honoured today to draw attention to the difficult commitment undertaken by our Canadian troops on Afghan soil during Rotation 10 of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, which took place from October 2010 to July 2011. We ought to commend and applaud the sacrifices and efforts made during this mission. In 2001, when Canada became involved in this mission, Canadians already suspected that our involvement would be long and arduous. In total, 10 years went by before we considered our work to be done. Tomorrow there will be a ceremony at Valcartier to mark our soldiers’ return. They lived up to the Canadian promise. We can all celebrate their work, be proud of it and honoured by it as well.”
- Afghanistan (3) U.S. blogger Michael Yon continues to make no friends – this time, assessing Canada’s impact in Kandahar. “…. the history of the Canadian troops is softly being rewritten as successful in Afghanistan. Reality differs. The Canadians troops have an excellent reputation and they served with distinction, but after nearly being swallowed whole, they were ordered to abandon their battlespace. There were many causes. The Canadian combat forces could have prevailed, but Ottawa is weak. The prime cause for the Canadian defeat was that tough men in mud homes without electricity defeated comfortable politicians in Ottawa, who seem to think that manufactured history will make them victorious ….”
- Afghanistan (4) Detainee probe by Military Police Complaints Commission plods on, slowly. “The Federal Court has dismissed complaints from military police officers over hearings conducted by the Military Police Complaints Commission into issues relating to the treatment of Afghan detainees. Eight current and former officers with the Canadian military police had argued they were being denied the right to a fair hearing with regard to whether they were at fault in their transfer of detainees to Afghan authorities or for not investigating how they were treated once transferred, given accounts about abuse of such prisoners at the hands of Afghan authorities ….” Federal Court decision here, decision summary here and more media coverage here and here.
- Paeta Derek Hess-Von Kruedener, 1962-2006, R.I.P. Remembering, five years later. “…. On 25 July 2011, the fifth anniversary of the attack on Patrol Base KHIAM, the fourth annual memorial service was held in El Khiam, led this year by New Zealand Army Lieutenant-Colonel Helen Cooper, the current chief of Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) ….”
- On how much veteran families get for funerals: “Mr. Sean Casey (Charlottetown, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, a Canadian Forces member receives $13,000 for funeral costs. A veteran receives $3,600. Nineteen months ago we raised this issue. The answer we received was that it was under review. Last year we asked the minister again to fix this problem. Even though his own officials raised it with him, he told a Senate hearing that it was not the time to talk about the matter. Yesterday we received another non-answer. Our veterans have done their job. They served and defended Canada. Why will the minister not do his and fix the situation now? Hon. Steven Blaney (Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am glad to say that on this side of the House we not only speak for veterans, but we act for veterans. As I told the member yesterday, this program is managed by the Last Post Fund. It is doing an outstanding job. We fund the Last Post Fund. We are making sure that every military member who is killed or injured during service, whatever his or her rank, is well-served and will be treated with respect until the last moment of his or her life.”
- What’s Canada Buying? Remember the “rent a UAV” bid request? A new Statement of Work and Evaluation Criteria document is out (via Army.ca).
- What’s the U.S. Buying? A Canadian company is getting more work from additions to this big job: “Canadian Commercial Corp., General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada, Ontario, Canada, is being awarded an $87,335,007 firm-fixed-priced modification under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5028) for procurement of 425 of the following engineering change proposal upgrades: upgraded transfer case kit; hood/bonnet assembly kit; exhaust system kit; central tire inflation system upgrade kit; skydex flooring material kit; electrical harness kit; route clearance digirack kit; remote weapon station joystick kit; front door assist kit; wheel and tire upgrade kit; and independent suspension axel system kit. Work will be performed in Benoni, South Africa (70 percent); Trenton, N.J. (20 percent); Chandler, Ariz. (6 percent); and Halifax, Canada (4 percent) ….”
- Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino chats up defence industry reps at the Canadian Association of Defence and Securities Industries about buying stuff.
- Whazzup with the General who wrote the transformation/reorganization report that all the reporters got? “CGI Group Inc., a leading provider of information technology and business process services, today announced the opening of a new Canadian Defence, Public Safety and Intelligence business unit based in Ottawa with capabilities to serve the Canadian Armed Forces around the globe. In addition, the Company also announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Andrew Leslie to lead the new Defence, Public Safety and Intelligence unit. The offering will build on the corporation’s global expertise to develop and implement innovative, world-class solutions tailored to specific knowledge and requirements of Canada’s modern-day defence and security challenges ….” A bit more here.
- An interesting idea from the Royal Canadian Legion as an alternative to recognizing Afghanistan’s war dead on the national cenotaph in Ottawa. “…. some veterans argue that singling out those who died in Afghanistan for special recognition on the memorial does a disservice to the more than 100 Canadian peacekeepers who have lost their lives in various other conflicts. For that reason, the Royal Canadian Legion said Thursday that, instead of specifically acknowledging the toll in Afghanistan, the monument should be dedicated to all of those who died “In the Service of Canada.” That’s the same inscription that is found in the Seventh Book of Remembrance, which records the names of all of the Canadians who died in military action since the Korean War. “We think that an inscription that covers the sacrifice made in all wars or missions would be acceptable to most people instead of etching the individual wars or missions,” said Patricia Varga, the Legion’s dominion president ….”
- The World Socialists’ take on “royalizing” the branches: “…. Though the rose of the Canadian military will smell no sweeter under its new designation, the name change exemplifies the ideological shift pursued by the new Conservative majority government. As the Canadian capitalist class has ever more vigorously asserted its imperialist interests abroad, and employed increasingly anti-democratic methods of rule to enforce its agenda of austerity domestically, its servants in the Harper government have contemptuously discarded the “peaceful” and “liberal- social democratic” Canadian nationalism promoted by the Liberal governments of the 1960s and 1970s and sought to promote the military and the Crown as sacrosanct elements of “what it means to be Canadian.” ….”
- They’re not “war resisters”, they’re volunteers who ran away and aren’t brave enough to face the music – this from the House of Commons yesterday. “Mr. Speaker, decorated Iraq war veteran Rodney Watson has lived in limbo for two years in sanctuary at an East Vancouver church with his wife Natasha and young son Jordan, both Canadian citizens. I have come to know Rodney and know him to be strong in his conviction for peace and justice, and brave in his commitment to go up against an illegal war. It has been a tough two years, and the strong support from the war resisters support campaign has been enormously important. If Rodney were to return to the U.S., he would likely be charged, which would make his return to Canada inadmissible, tearing him apart from his family. As many as 40 other war resisters like Rodney are currently fighting to stay in Canada. This Parliament has passed two motions in support of war resisters, yet the government is still trying to deport them. I encourage Canadians to write to the immigration minister and their MPs about Rodney and all war resisters to support the call for their permanent residence in Canada.”
- Fence along the Canada-U.S. border? Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis? “The United States has distanced itself from its own report that suggested it is considering beefing up its security at the Canadian border — possibly through the construction of “selective fencing” and trenches as well as enhanced electronic surveillance. The proposed options are contained in a detailed draft report released Aug. 31 in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. The proposals will be aired at public meetings in American cities this fall, before the U.S. government considers how to further tighten the border to keep out terrorists and other criminals. But late Thursday afternoon, after reports about the possible fence hit the Canadian media, the U.S. agency released a carefully worded statement. “A border fence along the northern border is not being considered at this time,” it said ….” A summary of the report (PDF) is available here, the news release linked to the report here, and more in the Globe & Mail here.
- Meanwhile, the UAV’s drone on looking for bad guys and bad stuff going from Canada to the U.S. “The unmanned planes look north toward the long, lightly defended and admittedly porous Canada-U.S. border – the best route many Americans believe for jihadists seeking to attack the United States to sneak across. Like their missile-carrying military cousins prowling Pakistan’s skies targeting al-Qaeda suspects, the unarmed Predator aircraft that have patrolled the 49th parallel since 2009 are high-tech, sophisticated and little understood. And they are part of the same diffuse and determined effort the Unites States is making to secure its borders and defend itself. “We’re here to protect the nation from bad people doing bad things,” says John Priddy, U.S. National Air Security Operations director for the Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine. He heads the Predator operation guarding American’s northern airspace. “This is the equivalent of the Cold War in terms of a new type of vigilance,” says Mr. Priddy, who has flown everything from Boeing 747 cargo jets to Apache helicopters ….”
- Former U.S. VP Dick Cheney’s in Canada, worried about a biological or nuclear terrorist attack.
Written by milnewsca
30 September 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Afghan detainees, Afghan interpreters, Afghanistan, Andrew Leslie, Anne-Marie Day, border security, Canadian Association of Defence and Securities Industries, Canadian Commercial Corporation, cenotaph, CFB Valcartier, CGI Group, Customs and Border Protection, Dick Cheney, El Khiam, Federal Court, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada, government aircraft, Hansard, Helen Cooper, Jason Kenney, Joe O'Connor, John Priddy, Joint Task Force Afghanistan, Julian Fantino, Kandahar, Last Post Fund, Lebanon, M67854-07-D-5028, Michael Yon, military news, Military Police Complaints Commission, milnews.ca, Observer Group Lebanon, Paeta Derek Hess-Von Kruedener, Patricia Varga, Peter MacKay, Predator, repatriation ceremonies, Rodney Watson, ROTO 10, Royal Canadian Legion, Sean Casey, Seventh Book of Remembrance, Stephen Harper, Steven Blaney, veterans funerals, Walt Natynczyk, war resisters
- Afghanistan (1) Canadian General drops by northern training base in Afghanistan (courtesy of the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan/Combined Transition Command – Afghanistan Info-Machine) “Regional Support Command – North recently hosted a visit by Canadian Army Maj. Gen. Michael Day, the deputy commander for army operations under NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan/Combined Transition Command – Afghanistan. NTM-A/CSTC-A, in coordination with key stakeholders, generates and sustains the Afghan National Security Forces, develops leaders, and establishes enduring institutional capacity in order to enable accountable Afghan-led security. This is Day’s second visit to RSC-N, and during his stop he viewed newly delivered D-30 artillery cannons and the Regional Basic Warrior Training center at Camp Shaheen, near Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. He also received updates on proposed expansions to the Afghan National Army training facilities ….”
- Afghanistan (2) CBC.ca has an online survey asking, “Should Afghan translators who worked with Canadian forces be granted refuge?“
- Afghanistan (3) Congrats to all. “Michael Hornburg watched television coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks in his Calgary home with his son Nathan, who had become a reservist only weeks before. The 18-year-old had joined the King’s Own Calgary Regiment while still in high school. That day, Hornburg felt a personal, horrible feeling as his son sat next to him. “I somehow had a premonition that day that 9/11 would touch our family on a personal level, that it might directly affect us,” he said on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Cpl. Nathan Hornburg was killed in Afghanistan six years and two weeks after 9/11. Nathan had volunteered to go to war. He drove a tank equipped to rescue other vehicles, which he was doing when killed in a mortar attack. “My son’s vehicle had a crane on it, not a cannon,” Michael Hornburg said. “He was typical of a lot of the courage you see in all these military members.” On behalf of his son, Michael Hornburg received the Birchall Leadership Award on Sunday to recognize integrity and responsibility in the Canadian Forces. Usually given to one annual recipient, this year’s award was presented to seven individuals to represent Task Force Afghanistan. “This award is on behalf of all of those wounded or killed,” Hornburg said. “We take our losses as sources of pride. We use them to become better people, not bitter.” Other local recipients included Col. Omer Lavoie, commander of 1 Mechanized Brigade Group, and Warrant Officer David Schultz, a previous recipient of the Star of Military Valour for personal bravery ….” More on the award here (from the Land ForcesWestern Area Info-Machine)
- Afghanistan (3) A new Canadian film, Afghan Luke, by the guy who brought you Trailer Park Boys. ” “Trailer Park Boys” co-creator and director Mike Clattenburg isn’t offended by the suggestion that a nuanced satirical film on Canada’s role in the Afghan war is a bit of a surprise coming from him. “I guess people would expect me to do crazy, screwball stuff, but we did that for 10 years,” the Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia native tells me in a hotel room in downtown Toronto. “Guys in their underwear and housecoats, drunk trailer park supervisors . . . I’ve been doing that stuff for a while, that stoner comedy. “I was excited to do something I hadn’t done before.” Clattenburg was in Toronto Sunday for the premiere of his new movie “Afghan Luke” at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Afghan Luke” tells the story of ambitious journalist Luke Benning (Nick Stahl) who goes rogue in Afghanistan after his editor spikes a story on Canadian snipers who may be cutting off the fingers of their kills in the country. While that’s the synopsis, what follows is much more of satirical tale of loosely collected stories of a strange and distant land that cannot be understood, let alone tamed by Western military powers. As Clattenburg puts it, it’s “80 per cent drama, 20 per cent comedy.” ….” Already some discussion of the film (mostly based on the trailer and advance media) at Army.ca here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) More of what’s coming came out of Canada’s Defence Minister meeting with Australia’s. “Australia and Canada share a common concern that the new Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will be delayed, possibly requiring acquisition of an expensive interim air combat capability. To present a united front, Australia and Canada will now conduct top level talks on procurement and capability issues of mutual concern. As well as JSF, that will also touch on submarines, with both Australia and Canada experiencing big problems on maintaining submarine capability. Visiting Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Canada wasn’t backing away from plans to acquire 65 JSF aircraft but shared all of the same concerns as Australia. He said the good news was that the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant of JSF, to be acquired by both Canada and Australia, was progressing well, unlike the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) and carrier variants. “We are purchasing them at a time when they will be in peak production around 2014-15. Our fleet of F-18 Hornets will have to be taken out of use in 2017,” he told reporters. “So there is a degree of urgency for us when it comes to this procurement being on time and being on cost.” …. Defence Minister Stephen Smith said he and Mr MacKay had agreed to conduct a regular strategic dialogue on shared procurement, acquisition, capability issues. He said he was very concerned that delay in JSF meant it was rubbing up against the Australian schedule for retiring older F/A-18 Hornets around the end of the decade. “I have always been of the view that this project will get up because the US is absolutely committed to the capability,” he said. “But the risk for Australia and other partners like Canada is on the delivery side, on the schedule side and also on the cost side.” ….” Nothing on the visit on Minister MacKay’s site yet – a nice picture, though.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Good question from Mark Collins.
- What’s Canada Buying? Wanted: folks who speak Spanish to act as bad guys, villagers for training in Wainwright, Alberta.
- Border Security (1) “It may seem heartless to put a price tag on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people and affected the lives of so many more. But economic implications of that event and of the ongoing battle against terrorism cannot be ignored. While the United States incurred the lion’s share of costs related to 9/11 and the security measures – including military interventions – that came after, Canada has also coped with economic consequences. For the most part, the harm to Canada is manifest in impediments to trade ….”
- Border Security (2) “Glass is half full” view of border security talks between Canada, U.S.: “…. The goals of the initiative are pragmatic, not theoretical and the results need to be tangible and mutually beneficial. Success is not preordained but Canada should never refrain from bilateral agreements carrying the greatest potential for reward. With clear and consistent political will from the top and healthy doses of imagination and determination from officials, innovative solutions can be agreed that will serve the interests of both parties.”
- Border Security (3) “Glass is half emtpy” view of border security talks between Canada, U.S.: “…. The protection of privacy is the subtly acknowledged elephant in the room in these discussions. In the past few years there have been two commissions of inquiry on cases in which the privacy rights of Canadians were violated by the sharing of information with the United States. The men affected became guests of nasty regimes with life-changing consequences for them. Both the Auditor General and the Privacy Commissioner have added their voices on the need for greater privacy protections. This government and previous ones have ignored recommendations for changes and have been reluctant to improve existing protections by updating the out-of-date Privacy Act of 1983. If Canadians are not vigilant they may soon discover that the Americans have more control over their privacy rights than we do at home.”
- Royal Canadian Artillery: Helping prevent avalanches for 50 years. (via Army.ca) “Canada Command honoured the centennial of Parks Canada and the 125th anniversary of Glacier and Yoho National Parks with the presentation of three retired 105 mm Artillery Howitizers at the Rogers Pass Discovery centre at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Revelstoke, B.C. The guns are on display at the Rogers Pass as monuments and memorials in recognition of a half-century of avalanche control operations to protect the Trans-Canada Highway and the railway through Glacier National Park ….” More from The Canadian Press here (YouTube video).
- “While 9-11 highlighted the bonds between Canada and the United States, another major anniversary will mark just how the two countries decided to become friendly in the first place. The Conservative government is gearing up to announce its bicentennial plans for the War of 1812, a major undertaking that will have Canadians reaching into their high-school memory vaults and municipalities vying for cash to spruce up their historical landmarks. “It has led to 200 years of peace between Canada and the United States,” Heritage Minister James Moore said in an interview. “We’re two countries with two very different identities and we obviously disagree from time to time, but we have the longest border and the most successful neighbouring relationship of probably any two countries in the world … and all of that started with the end of the War of 1812 and it’s something to be recognized.” The conflict, which lasted until 1815, pitted the growing United States against British forces mostly in Upper and Lower Canada. The U.S. had grown weary of British naval blockades hampering their trade abroad, and of First Nations armed by the British Empire stunting their expansion into the northwest of the continent ….”
Written by milnewsca
13 September 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, 1 CMBG, 9-11, 9/11, Afghan interpreters, Afghan Luke, Afghan National Army, Afghan National Security Forces, Australia, avalanche control, Birchall Leadership Award, border security, Camp Shaheen, CF-18, Combined Transition Command – Afghanistan, CSTC-A, D-30, David Schultz, Derek Burney, F-35, F/A-18, James Moore, Joint Strike Fighter, JSF, King's Own Calgary Regiment, Land Forces Western Area, Lower Canada, Luke Benning, Mark Collins, Mazar-e-Sharif, Michael Day, Michael Hornburg, Mike Clattenburg, military news, milnews.ca, Nathan Hornburg, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan, Nick Stahl, NTM-A, Omer Lavoie, OP Palaci, Operation Palaci, Peter MacKay, Regional Basic Warrior Training center, Regional Support Command – North, Rogers Pass, Royal Canadian Artillery, RSC-N, Star of Military Valour, Stephen Smith, TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival, Trailer Park Boys, Upper Canada, Wainwright, War of 1812
- Libya Mission (1) “Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned dictators of the world Thursday that Canada will not shy from using force to oust them, even as he told Canadian troops here that their role in Libya is not yet finished. “There is, I am afraid, as we have just been briefed, still fighting to be done,” Harper said in a strident address to several hundred Canadian soldiers at this military airfield in southern Italy. “And undoubtedly, there will be, even after that, difficult days ahead.” ….”
- Libya Mission (2) “Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the work of Canadian forces in Libya has given the country new hope. He says Canada punched above its weight in the international military effort to oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. And he says NATO’s success proves soldiers, not diplomacy, were the only way to end his bloody regime. “For the Gadhafis of this world pay no attention to the force of argument,” he told around 100 soldiers gathered at the NATO military base in southern Italy. “The only thing they get is the argument of force itself. And that you have delivered in a cause that is good and right.” But Mr. Harper told the troops the fighting isn’t over yet ….”
- Libya Mission (3) QMI/Sun Media columnist: “Enough. Bring them home. For the most part, Canadians have accepted the rationale for our military’s involvement in the Libyan civil war, now apparently winding down. We know that, as NATO partners, we must stand alongside our allies when the shooting starts. We’ve done that for nearly a decade in Afghanistan. Moammar Gadhafi was a madman and one of the most cruel tyrants in a part of the world known for producing them. His role in the Lockerbie bombing alone justifies Canada’s active participation in his ouster. To date, that participation has included 650 Canadian forces personnel, a flight of CF-18 fighters, refueling planes, surveillance craft and a ship. At last count, Canada has dropped 550 bombs in the Libyan campaign. We’re proud of our pilots and their support crews. We’re proud of our sailors. We applaud the work they’ve done in bringing, we hope, democracy to Libya. We’re happy that Gadhafi is no longer running Libya. Now bring them home ….”
- Libya Mission (4) U.N. scraps idea of offering observers.
- Afghanistan “Canada’s last air wing commander at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan says the Royal Canadian Air Force is well positioned for future missions abroad. Col. Al Meinzinger told Postmedia News his time in Afghanistan, in one of the country’s busiest airbases, showed him the versatility and professionalism of the air force. “The air force is positioned very well based on its most recent experiences to be employed in whatever area the government seeks to use us,” Meinzinger said. “I think the future is exceptionally bright for the RCAF.” Meinzinger said Afghanistan was “the most challenging and difficult (operation) that one would find on the planet.” High temperatures and an abundance of dust added to the pressures of operating within a combat zone. “As I look to the future, I see us as being capable of being deployed in the full gamut of campaigns,” Meinzinger said. “I think it’s that expeditionary mindset that is the legacy of Afghanistan. We’ve proven we can operate under a very austere, difficult, harsh environment.” ….”
- 9/11 Plus Ten (1) One Canadian aid worker’s view of Afghanistan, tying in with the coming anniversary of 9/11: “…. When the international community gave up on Afghanistan after a feeble effort at a peace process, during the civil war of the 1990s led by the mujahedeen who decided to eat their own, a bloodbath ensued, followed by the Taliban, followed by bin Laden, al- Qaida, and the atrocities of 9/11. It’s not long enough ago to warrant forgetting. There are lessons there that we need now, desperately. We ignore that history at our peril, and to leave Afghanistan in disarray is to dishonour those lost 10 years ago in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.”
- 9/11 Plus Ten (2) “A new poll suggests many Canadians feel air travel is safer now than it was before the Sept. 11 attacks. The Canadian Press-Harris Decima survey found that almost four out of 10 respondents feel flying is safer today, while a majority say it is just as safe. Only seven per cent feel air travel is less safe a decade after the terror attacks in New York and Washington ….”
- 9/11 Plus Ten (3) “Ten years after 9-11, Canada-U.S. relationship has both trouble spots and bright spots” (The Canadian Press)
- Thunder Bay-Superior North NDP MP Bruce Hyer was one of a number of MPs flying (a bit) with the RC Air Force. “…. “It’s a real honour – and a real eye-opener – to be training here at 8 Wing Trenton with the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Hyer on his third day of training. “As a former bush pilot, I was especially eager to have the opportunity to go up in some of the aircraft, and learn from the flight crews.” Hyer flew in a CH-146 Griffon helicopter, a CC-177 Globemaster, and piloted a CC-130 Hercules heavy transport in simulator. But the training wasn’t all about flying aircraft. “Seeing the base and touring air traffic control really showed the top shape our Canadian Forces personnel keep their facilities and equipment in,” noted Hyer. “But it was meeting and talking with those personnel that was the really valuable part of the experience. The professionalism and dedication of our personnel is immediately evident, including the ground crews and support personnel.” ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) “The Government of Canada today announced a new amendment to the CF-18 Primary Air Vehicle contract with L-3 Military Aviation Services (L-3 MAS), an aerospace defence company, to include the full scope of the Optimized Weapon System Support program ….” More here (backgrounder) and here (Minister’s speaking notes).
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) Wanted: someone to build counter-IED instruction buildings in Valcartier and design/build Chinook training accommodations in Petawawa.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) This headline could mean bad things as well as good ones: “Lightning Strikes Twice: Two F-35s arrive at Eglin AFB”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Why the U.S. establishment is keen to keep the project going.
- “Children of Canadian military personnel who died while serving their country will receive post-secondary education scholarships from Canada Company at the fourth annual awards ceremony commencing at 11:00 a.m. aboard HMCS Montréal in Toronto on Friday, September 2, 2011 ….”
- “Five men convicted of distinct al-Qaeda-inspired bomb plots have ended up isolated in a single wing within Canada’s most punishing prison – a fate they say they don’t deserve. The complaints from the inmates arise as federal authorities struggle with how to jail radical Islamists – whether to isolate them, what programs to craft for them and how to achieve the correctional system’s stated goal of rehabilitation. Government officials say they have good reason for keeping such inmates away from the general prison population, fearing they may radicalize others. But the policy does produce an ironic result: The convicted terror plotters associate mostly with one another ….”
- Border Security Toronto Star editorial: “…. Ottawa is quite right to work with Washington to ease U.S. security fears and see that our vital cross-border trade continues to flourish. But there is a natural Canadian suspicion of getting too cozy with the Americans that could lead to knee-jerk rejection of any deal. The best way to address that is to share as much information about these talks, as quickly as possible.”
Written by milnewsca
1 September 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 8 Wing Trenton, 9/11, Afghanistan, Al Meinzinger, border security, Bruce Hyer, C-IED, Canada Company, CC-130 Hercules, CC-177 Globemaster, CF-18 Primary Air Vehicle contract, CFB Petawawa, CH-146 Griffon, CH-147 Chinook, F-35, HMCS MONTREAL, Joint Strike Fighter, Kandahar, L-3 MAS, L-3 Military Aviation Services, Lauren Oates, Libya, Libyan unrest, Medium-to Heavy-Lift Helicopter Project, MHLH, military news, milnews.ca, Odyssey Dawn, Operation Mobile, Optimized Weapon System Support, perimeter security, Stephen Harper, Task Force Libeccio, Thunder Bay-Superior North, Unified Protector, Valcartier Garrison
- Report leaked to CBC: CF way too top heavy. “A major report from National Defence has identified ways to save the department $1 billion a year and calls for “dramatic changes” so the military can meet its future obligations. Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie led a “transformation team” at the request of Defence Minister Peter MacKay that spent nearly a year studying ways to overhaul the Canadian Forces and Department of National Defence to find efficiencies. The group’s Report on Transformation 2011 was completed in July but not made public. A copy of the report was obtained by CBC News. The report says that for the military to meet the demands upon it, while living within its means and with balanced books, it has to carefully reallocate its resources. Leslie calls for cuts to the bureaucratic side of the military’s operations, including the possible elimination of thousands of jobs so that the people on the front lines have the support and equipment they need ….”
- Report leaked to Postmedia News: CF way too top heavy. “Bureaucrats tried to stymie a report by Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie that calls for deep cuts to civilian ranks at National Defence Headquarters, interfering in his study months before his still secret transformation document was finished. “The team was directed to stop further work on the civilian structures in late November,” says the report, parts of which were shared with Postmedia News on Friday. Leslie was named Chief of Transformation in June 2010, after finishing his term as chief of land staff. Assisted by a team of military and civilian staff, he spent the last year authoring a report on how to make the Canadian Forces a leaner, meaner and more cost-effective organization. But he began encountering resistance some six months before the tough report was finished. Leslie writes that his team had only examined the top two layers of the civilian bureaucracy — the deputy minister and assistant deputy ministers — before the order to halt was given in November. The report does not specify who gave the order to stop examining the civilian side of the department ….”
- Way Up North (1) APTN on Hornets over the North for OP Nanook 2011.
- Way Up North (2) Good point, Your Worship. “Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern has two Twitter accounts on which she chronicles the ups and downs of the Nunavut capital. On the plus side of her online ledger is the recent catch of a 70-tonne bowhead whale by local hunters and the first visit north by Governor-General David Johnston. On the other side are the territory’s lamentable schooling levels and a stream of suicides, including a young man who took his life just days after his girlfriend killed herself. Arctic sovereignty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s annual summer visit to the north next week falls somewhere in between, with a lot of hope and hype about asserting Canadian control across the tundra. The everyday benefits for northerners are less apparent. “It is important that as Canadians we definitely support the federal government’s positions and initiatives to assert its sovereignty,” Redfern told the Star. “But (we) have some of the world’s highest suicide rates, high levels of teenage pregnancy, low graduation rates.” How, she asks, can Canada claim to be master of this vast land when so many basic services crucial to the well-being of northerners are absent? ….”
- People living near the Canada-U.S. border worry about crime, smuggling in their back yard. “Three hours from Parliament Hill via the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve, this pastoral corner of Quebec is descending into a version of northwest Pakistan, with tribal outlaws and mobsters controlling much of this remote borderland in defiance of the central authority. If you think that is melodramatic, consider this: On a recent visit by federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to listen to the fears of property owners about tobacco and drug smugglers hijacking the St. Lawrence River farming and cottage communities of southwest Quebec, the talk turned to shotguns, self-defence and possibly closing the international border crossing upriver at Cornwall altogether. “We’re changing the laws on self-defence and your right to protect your property,” Toews told the gathering. “I’m not advocating that people use (guns) but if there’s a legitimate …” The small group of summer cottagers, farmers and others gathered around him nodded approvingly ….”
Written by milnewsca
20 August 11 at 9:00
Tagged with Afghanistan, Akwesasne, Andrew Leslie, APTN, border security, Chief of Transformation, Cornwall, David Johnston, Iqaluit, Jamaica, Madeleine Redfern, military news, milnews.ca, Nunavut, Operation Jaguar, Operation Nanook 2011, Report on Transformation 2011, Vic Toews
- Afghanistan (1) Guess where defence spending appears to have been growing the most during Afghanistan? “Canada’s defence department bulked up during war — but not where you think. Since 2004 — as the country’s mission in Afghanistan was ramping up — the defence department began swelling up, according to a Star analysis. But the dramatic growth happened far from the front lines with more civilians, more contractors and a ballooning headquarters staff. Military experts say the numbers tell the tale of a bureaucracy run amok, even as the uniform ranks — especially the navy — remain stretched for manpower. And it comes at a time when a radical plan to transform the defence department has been put in the hands of Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Gen. Walt Natynczyk. At its heart, the goal of this still-secret blueprint is to trim the size of defence headquarters, pushing thousands of military personnel out of Ottawa and on to the country’s air force bases, naval ports and army bases ….”
- Afghanistan (2) Another Legion welcomes home vets from downrange. “The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 192 Carleton Place worked in conjunction with the town to host an Afghanistan Veterans’ Appreciation Day on Sunday, Aug. 14. Legion member Ron Goebel helped spearhead the event in which 15 to 18 military men and women were honoured for their work overseas ….”
- Way Up North GG to show the flag with first official visit to Arctic, wishes we were there. “Gov. Gen. David Johnston and his wife Sharon leave Monday for Nunavut, their first official visit to Canada’s Arctic as the vice-regal couple — but not their first as Canadians. Johnston is rekindling a love affair of sorts with the North, having previously visited the Yukon and Northwest Territories with his family after growing up in northern Ontario. But this will be Johnston’s maiden voyage to the Eastern Arctic, and also marks the first time any governor general has visited two isolated and traditional communities due north of Hudson’s Bay, Kugaaruk and Qikiqtarjuaq ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? More than a million bags to assemble ration packs and safety stickers for Canada’s Navy..
- The biggest factors to juggle as Canada works with the U.S. on joint border security issues. “…. at some point the Harper government is going to have to come out of the bunker and level with the Canadian electorate on the messy parts of such huge negotiations. When it does, it will be clear the toughest piece of this puzzle rests with Vic Toews. It is the security piece that is driving the American agenda, while the Canadian agenda is dominated by facilitating trade and easing the flow of goods across the border. It will fall to the public safety minister to hold the line on what many Canadians consider to be the perils of these talks — a potential loss of sovereignty, a sell-out of our privacy rights and a lack of transparency ….”
- “The agency responsible for airline security paid the RCMP $40 million a year to provide armed officers on domestic and international flights as a deterrent to terrorists. Newly released documents obtained by the Citizen show for the first time the high costs of the secretive air marshals program put in place after the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the United States. Billing records show that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority was invoiced by the Mounties about $10 million every quarter between 2004 and 2006, before the arrangement was restructured and the federal government began funding the program directly. Despite the cost, there is no indication a Canadian air marshal has ever had to intervene against a potential security threat while in flight. They are not allowed to get involved with instances of air rage or unruly passengers, in case the disruption is a ruse to draw them out ….”
- More of a push for Canada to prosecute war criminals here instead of shipping them out. “Ramiro Cristales is still haunted by the brutal deaths of his parents and seven siblings at the hands of Guatemalan soldiers in Las Dos Erres, Guatemala. Overnight, 251 people were killed, leaving Cristales, then only 5, and another child the only survivors of the December 1982 massacre. Cristales was thrilled when he learned in January that one of the alleged perpetrators, Jorge Sosa Orantes, was picked up and arrested in Lethbridge, Alta. Now 34 and a Canadian citizen, Cristales is eager to see justice served in his adopted homeland. But he is not holding out much hope. Although Orantes, a dual Canadian and American citizen, has a court date in Calgary later this month, it is for his extradition to the United States where he faces charges not related to the mass murders but for lying on a citizenship application about his role in the Guatemalan military. “Deporting a criminal is not real justice,” said Cristales, who came here in 1999 under a witness protection program. Federal laws allow Ottawa to prosecute alleged war criminals for war crimes committed abroad. Yet, since Canada’s war crimes program was launched in 1998, only two individuals — both Rwandan genocide suspects — have been charged under the Criminal Code ….”
- B.C. writer David Stafford wraps up WW2 spy history book for U.K. government. “…. His latest book was released earlier this year with the satisfying title Mission Accomplished. In some ways, that is the case for Mr. Stafford, too, who is now taking a well-earned sabbatical. The British Cabinet Office commissioned the work, an official history of actions by Special Operations Executive in Italy from 1943 to the end of the Second World War. SOE was the force established for espionage, sabotage and subversion in lands of German occupation. As Churchill memorably ordered, their job was to “set Europe ablaze.” Written to be enjoyed by a general audience, Mr. Stafford also took as his responsibility to provide for scholars “a first sketch” of the secret war on the peninsula, seeding the ground of his research with footnotes to encourage further exploration. “I’ve given them all the signposts,” he said ….”
Written by milnewsca
15 August 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Afghanistan, air marshals, Aircraft Protective Officers, border security, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, David Johnston, David Stafford, Guatemala, Jorge Sosa Orantes, Kugaaruk, MERX, military news, milnews.ca, Mission Accomplished: SOE and Italy 1943-1945, National Defence Headquarters, Operation Nanook, Peter MacKay, Qikiqtarjuaq, Ramiro Cristales, RCMP, Ron Goebel, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 192, SOE, Special Operations Executive, Vic Toews, Walt Natynczyk
- VERY interesting questions from a wounded warrior…. “ …. What happened to the CDS’s promise (made to me in person) that no disabled WIA would be released before they are ready to transition? …. those of us in uniform all know that there are personnel in various support trades who have never deployed because they are too obese to meet the basic fitness standard (Battle Fitness Test). These folks seem to float from one T-Cat to another, with very few (if any) ever being released for failure to pass even the non-deployment basic fitness test (EXPRES test). What is up with that? …. Why does the CF even stock the extreme sizes of combat uniform that are as wide in the arse/gut as they are tall? Grossly obese persons have no place in uniform, projecting a negative public image of the CF. Orange jumpsuits would be more appropriate for the morbidly obese and would serve as an incentive to lose weight. Rigid and timely application of the universality of service requirements and medical release procedures should also be applied to those obese members who cannot attain the deployment fitness standard. At the end of the day, I would like to see disabled combat vets such as myself offered the opportunity to fill domestic support jobs so that those who are fit to fight are freed up for deployment. If nothing else, I want assurance that our disabled WIA are offered the same degree of “rule-bending consideration” that the chain of command and the medical system quite evidently apply to the 1000 or so obese CF members who can’t even pass the basic XPRES test.”
- “Memorial visits to Kandahar by the families of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan will continue, but they’ll be financed by non-public funds, the Defence Department said Wednesday. A department spokesman said the visits, which had been briefly in limbo, won’t be billed to the taxpayer until new spending rules are in place. In the meantime, costs can be covered from the military families fund, which is financed by private donations and various fund-raisers, Andrew McKelvey, a department communications adviser, said in an email. “The military families fund is an agile and responsive fund with a broad mandate to assist families, especially where there is no authorized public program, benefit or service to do this,” he said. “Given the intent to seek public approval for (next-of-kin) travel, it is anticipated that the support required from the military families fund will be short term.” ….”
- Blog Watch: Former OMLT-eer says NYT reporter needs to do more homework covering Afghanistan.
- One set of hearings looking into Canadian treatment of Afghan detainees has wrapped up. “The Military Police Complaints Commission has adjourned to sort through the sometimes explosive testimony of some 35 witnesses, as well as thousands of pages of documents reluctantly turned over by the federal government, after an oftentimes acrimonious hearing into the Afghan detainee scandal drew to a close Wednesday. The year-long hearing concluded with final arguments from civil rights lawyers who said eight military police officers were negligent in their failure to investigate potentially criminal decisions taken by Canadian Forces commanders to transfer detainees to Afghan custody, where they faced torture. Lawyers for Amnesty International Canada and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, which launched the complaint, argued there was an abundance of evidence to suggest Afghan secret police were abusive and, had military police been asking the right questions of task force commanders, they would have known something wasn’t right ….” More here and here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged in Kandahar, and Taliban showing its green side.
- “Egyptian officials have promised the federal government they will do “everything” they can to help Canadians still stranded in the North African nation, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Wednesday. A plane carrying 29 Canadians and dozens of Australians, Britons and Americans left Alexandria for Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday as violent protests continued in the streets of Egypt’s major cities. A flight leaving Cairo, which is expected to carry about 90 Canadians, was scheduled to land in Paris Wednesday evening. Cannon told reporters that he spoke with Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit Wednesday about the ongoing mass protests aimed at forcing President Hosni Mubarak from office after three decades in power …. “
- Canada’s MPs spent much of last night in the House of Commons in an emergency debate on what’s up in Egypt these days – transcript via Hansard here.
- “Would-be Jihadist suicide bomber or playful loving family man? Those were the two starkly different ways suspected terrorist Sayfilden Tahir Sharif was portrayed Wednesday at his bail hearing in Edmonton. A photograph snapped by Cara Rain, his common-law wife, was entered as an exhibit showing Sharif clowning around with her children in the apartment they shared before his arrest last month by RCMP at the request of the FBI. Wearing a black hijab, Rain told court there is no way the man she loves is guilty of U.S. allegations that he supported a multinational terrorist network that took part in a suicide bombing which killed five American soldiers in Iraq …. Sharif’s lawyer, Bob Aloneissi, is seeking bail conditions akin to house arrest as his client prepares to fight extradition to the U.S. The federal Crown wants him held in custody pending the outcome of a long hearing process that may not begin until later this year. Crown prosecutor Jim Shaw entered a letter from the U.S. Justice Department dated Feb. 1 that warns Sharif poses an extreme danger to the community and a significant flight risk ….”
- Border Worries (1): This from a U.S. government watchdog office – “The challenges of securing the U.S.-Canadian border involve the coordination of multiple partners. The results of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to integrate border security among its components and across federal, state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners are unclear. GAO was asked to address the extent to which DHS has (1) improved coordination with state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners; (2) progressed in addressing past federal coordination challenges; and (3) progressed in securing the northern border and used coordination efforts to address existing vulnerabilities ….”
- Border Worries (2) “Canada and the United States are scrambling to quell fears that Canadians would soon need visas to cross the border, following a hard-hitting report to Congress that questioned security along the 49th parallel. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Wednesday he had been assured by the U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, there is no plan to require visas. “Ambassador Jacobson phoned me up to let me know that that certainly is not the intention of the Obama administration,” Cannon told a news conference. Indeed, Jacobson took to Twitter shortly after the report’s release Tuesday to declare that co-operation between the U.S. and Canada on security and border management had been “exceptional for years.” ….”
- Border Worries (3) “Canada and the United States are poised to take a major step toward common border security controls that could lead to joint government facilities, sophisticated tracking of travellers, better cyber-security protection and improved oversight of overseas cargo shipped to both countries. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama are expected to give the green light Friday to a comprehensive shared review of border security aimed at tightening protection from terrorists and easing the flow of cross-border traffic ….” More on tomorrow’s coming talks here. Let’s hope the issue of where many of those illegal guns that end up being seized here are coming from as well.
- F-35 Tug of War (1) “Firms report big risks to get onboard F-35 program: Firms say major ministerial public relations campaign as much about investor as public confidence.”
- F-35 Tug of War (2) Canada’s defence minister accuses former CF member/Liberal MP Marc Garneau of not supporting the troops on this one. “…. Mr. Speaker, I think the person who is worried is the member opposite because the more he talks against the F-35 the more he shows his true colours. He is against the aerospace industry in his own region. He is working against those men and women he used to serve with ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? More on running CFS Alert infrastructure, and pest control in/around Gagetown
- Three Canadian Navy ships (and an Aurora patrol aircraft) are headed west to help on an exercise near Hawaii.
Written by milnewsca
3 February 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Amnesty International Canada, Andrew McKelvey, B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Barak Obama, border security, Canadians in Egypt, CFS Alert, David Jacobson, David Pugliese, Egypt, emergency debate, F-35, Flit, GAO, HMCS Protecteur, HMCS Vancouver, HMCS Winnipeg, Hosni Mubarak, Lawrence Cannon, MERX, Military Familes Fund, military news, Military Police Complaints Commission, milnews.ca, Peter Ellis, Stephen Harper, Susan Sachs, Universality of service