Posts Tagged ‘CFB Valcartier’
- Libya Mission AFRICOM boss says they could be wrapping up pretty soon? “The military mission in Libya is largely complete and NATO’s involvement could begin to wrap up as soon as this coming week after allied leaders meet in Brussels, according to the top U.S. commander for Africa. Army Gen. Carter Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, told The Associated Press that American military leaders are expected to give NATO ministers their assessment of the situation during meetings late in the week. NATO could decide to end the mission even though ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi is still at large and his forces are still entrenched in strongholds such as Sirte and Bani Walid ….”
- Afghanistan What Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney had to say at the ceremony honouring ROTO 10 troops in Valcartier back from Afghanistan: “At an event such as this, words are often unable to fully convey what we feel. This is an occasion for celebration, pride, and perhaps even sorrow. Your return home is a source of joy to all of us, especially to your families, who have hoped and prayed for this day. It is an occasion for pride, because you have completed a demanding and perilous mission with the same courage and selflessness as those generations of Canadian soldiers who have marked the history of our country with their valour. Please accept our congratulations and our thanks ….”
- Pile On the Defence Minister About The Planes/Choppers! “If Defence Minister Peter MacKay felt any pressing need to defend his use of government-owned Challenger jets, it certainly wasn’t evident in his first trip the U.S. since the controversy about flying habits erupted. MacKay, meeting Friday at the Pentagon with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, was asked by a reporter whether he flew aboard a Challenger for the short jaunt to the American capital. “I certainly didn’t,” MacKay responded during a media availability with Panetta. Why not? “Because there’s commercial flights available.” And with that, MacKay changed the subject. After a brief speech about how it was “wonderful to be a reliable, robust security partner” with the U.S., MacKay turned to Panetta and said a quick farewell before jumping in a waiting van. “I’ve got to catch a plane,” he said. “I am flying commercial.” ….”
- Defence Research and Development Canada paper (129 page PDF): what did users have to say about Counter IED Operator training via distance ed?
- Way Up North One QMI reporter’s ideas for a new rifle for the Canadian Rangers. “…. One option would be for the government to contract Colt Canada, the Canadian Forces’ small arms manufacturer in Kitchener, Ont., to build a new generation of improved, modernized Lee-Enfields chambered in .308 Winchester, or buy Enfield replicas currently produced by an Australian firm. But concerns about quality, and the need for an off-the-shelf product rule both of these out. Another option still — proposed by this writer — would be the Ruger Gunsite Scout with a few notable modifications: a 20-inch barrel, and a light, durable fiberglass stock in army green with the Ranger emblem embedded in the buttstock. Whatever gun the government decides to buy for the Canadian Rangers, one thing is certain, it should be the best firearm available to them for the self-defence, military, and hunting applications they need it for ….” Follow the progress of the hunt for a new Ranger rifle here (via Army.ca).
- Veterans Affairs Minister joins the troops (for a while, anyway). “The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, took part in a military training exercise in the Charlevoix area, organized by the infantry primary training audience of 35 Canadian Brigade Group. Minister Blaney spent last night at the camp with members of the Canadian Forces. Today, he joined approximately 800 members of the Reserve Force in field operations, which included crossing the St. Lawrence River between Les Éboulements and Isle-aux-Coudres in military craft ….”
- Compare and contrast War of 1812 prep – this from an American editorial: “…. The war ended in a draw, but the contest to conduct the most comprehensive commemoration isn’t even close. The Canadians have appropriated millions, the Americans hardly anything. At this rate, the Canadians will appropriate the war entirely, at least for the next several years. Which brings us to a lesson for our time: Even forgotten wars can be lost 200 years later.”
This from a CF statement:
One Canadian Forces member was found dead from non-combat related wounds at approximately 5:30 a.m. local Kandahar time on 27 May 2011 at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Zangabad, located 45 Kilometres southwest of Kandahar Airfield.
Bombardier Karl Manning, from 5e Régiment d’artillerie légère du Canada based at CFB Valcartier, Quebec serving as a member of the 1er Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group was found dead from non-combat related wounds.
A Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) investigation is ongoing to establish the circumstances of this incident. No further details are available at this time, although enemy action has been ruled out ….
Condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the fallen. We will remember him.
- Corporal Jean-Michel Déziel, R.I.P. “A soldier died at approximately 10:00 hrs Monday morning after falling from the roof of a building at CFB Valcartier. Corporal Jean-Michel Déziel, a member of the Headquarters and Signals Squadron, was in the process of installing a telecommunications antenna when the incident occurred. The soldier was immediately evacuated to the Laval Hospital, where he was pronounced dead ….” More from CBC.ca here and QMI Media here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: The bad guys allege blowing up a Canadian “tank” in Panjwai – no confirmation on that.
- “Secret talks are underway in the Afghan capital and in the country’s south to replace the governor of a tumultuous district of Kandahar that is under Canada’s watch, The Canadian Press has learned. The backroom dealing centres around finding a replacement for the illiterate and mercurial Haji Baran, the current governor of Panjwaii. A security shura, or meeting of Afghan elders, was cancelled on Monday because Baran was in Kabul for meetings. Reached by telephone, Baran confirmed he was in the capital this week. Speaking in Pashto, he told a local journalist working for The Canadian Press that he has heard the talk that he will soon be replaced as Panjwaii’s governor. But Baran insisted he’s not going anywhere ….”
- Canada’s military research arm has just published a military chronology of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan – downloaable here (via Army.ca).
- Remember this guy who said an unarmed Afghan teenager had been killed by Canadian troops in 2007? The investigation says not so. “The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), the independent investigative arm of the Canadian Forces Military Police, has concluded its investigation into the allegations made by Mr. Ahmadshah Malgarai before the House of Commons’ Special Committee on Afghanistan on April 14, 2010 with respect to his time spent employed as a language and cultural advisor in Afghanistan from July 2007 to July 2008. The CFNIS investigation determined that no service or criminal offences were committed ….” More from MSM outlets here, here, here, here, here and here (note the CBC’s choice of headline – “No proof of Afghan adviser’s shooting claims” – compared to the wording of the CF statement above).
- CBC’s happy to be pretty declarative with this headline, though: “JTF2 command ‘encouraged’ war crimes, soldier alleges“. Note my highlights and what factoid is buried pretty far into the story: “A member of Canada’s elite special forces unit says he felt his peers were being “encouraged” by the Canadian Forces chain of command to commit war crimes in Afghanistan, according to new documents obtained by CBC News. The documents from the military ombudsman’s office show the member of the covert unit Joint Task Force 2, or JTF2, approached the watchdog in June 2008 to report the allegations of wrongdoing he had first made to his superior officers in 2006. The soldier told the ombudsman’s office “that although he reported what he witnessed to his chain of command, he does not believe they are investigating, and are being ‘very nice to him,’ ” according to the documents, which CBC News obtained through access to information. As such, the soldier alleged, the chain of command helped create an atmosphere that tolerated war crimes. The ombudsman’s documents state the soldier was subsequently directed to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, CFNIS, which in turn launched its own investigation. The CFNIS told the ombudsman the investigation was “now their No. 1 priority.” The member alleged that a fellow JTF2 member was involved in the 2006 shooting death of an Afghan who had his hands up in the act of surrender. That CFNIS probe ended without any charges ….”
- More reaction to Jack Layton’s criticism of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan: “…. By making exactly all the wrong comparisons to the Second World War and the great struggle against fascism’s European variants, Mr. Layton forgets that if we were fighting now the way we fought back then we would have turned Islamabad into Dresden by now and Tehran would be the name of a city we’d mention in the same breath with Hiroshima. We would have already forgotten the “war in Afghanistan” because it would have been over long ago ….”
- Canadians and Americans are working together in search ways to help wounded warriors heal, especially the wounds we don’t see. “…. Lt. Col. Stephane Grenier, who returned from duty in Rwanda in 1994 isolated, depressed and eventually suicidal, said today’s language of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) puts too much emphasis on “combat.” Warfare has become the “culturally acceptable excuse,” but troops in any role can get an operational stress injury from fatigue, grief and moral stressors, he said. “What happens to the clerk who never steps outside Kandahar Airfield but whose job is to write those letters, write the inventory of the equipment being shipped back to mom and dad?” said Grenier, who now works on the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s peer project team. Grenier is among a group of Canadian and U.S. military experts who gathered Tuesday to collaborate on ways to help wounded soldiers. Canadian Forces physicians, psychiatrists, chaplains and injured soldiers met with their American counterparts to discuss innovative programs and treatments in a symposium at the University of Southern California called “Wounded Warriors – Healing the Mind, Body and Soul.” ….” More on the conference here.
- “Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopters won’t be available to cover central and parts of Western Canada and the North until at least 2014 because of ongoing problems that have plagued the aircraft fleet, according to newly released Defence Department documents. The use of the helicopters for such missions was temporarily suspended in 2005. But last year the Defence Department quietly extended that until 2014, according to the documents. The area in question, equal to a million square kilometres, extends from the Prairies to Quebec and includes the Northwest Territories and much of Nunavut. Instead, search-and-rescue crews flying out of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ont., will continue to use Griffon helicopters for those operations, despite critics’ warning that the smaller helicopter doesn’t have the capabilities for a large rescue operation …. “
- Testing high-tech at Gagetown. “The future face of Canada’s army is being defined this week at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. The scenario is being played out at the Combat Training Centre via computer war games based on a scenario in the Horn of Africa. Known as Capability Development Experiment 2010, it’s part of an effort to determine what shape this country’s ground forces will take by 2021. Lt.-Col. William Cummings, the experiment director, said the military is trying to validate what it describes as an “adapted dispersed operations scenario.” That involves four major events going on at the same time …. “
- Anonymous source, but interesting information nonetheless – highlights mine. “…. Security intelligence authorities are warning that exiled Tamil rebel leaders are re-establishing their violent Sri Lankan separatist movement in Canada. “We don’t know how far advanced it is, but their intent is pretty clear — to set up a base-in-exile here for the leadership. Some leadership is already here,” a well-placed federal government official told the Ottawa Citizen. The warning accompanied a report late last week to senior government officials revealing that two southeast Asian smuggling syndicates are arranging the launch of two more shiploads of Tamil migrants to British Columbia in the coming weeks. The boats are expected to carry as many as 50 former Tamil Tiger rebel leaders and fighters, according to intelligence estimates. “Why here? It doesn’t make any sense because it is much easier to go to Australia,” said the official. “This is the reason.” Two previous cargo ships, Sun Sea and Ocean Lady, arrived off the West Coast last year and in 2009 carrying a total of 568 migrants, including several men the government suspects are former rebels. “How many have made it through, how advanced they are is not clear, (but) we’re concerned,” said the official. “Canadians expect us to avoid becoming a haven for terrorists.” ….”
I’m getting cranked over this:
A prankster’s calls to military families with news that their loved ones have been killed in Afghanistan are being castigated as “insensitive, amoral and disgusting.”
The Canadian military is investigating.
A spokesman for Quebec’s CFB Valcartier says a prankster phoned several families, including one soldier’s wife to say her husband had been killed by a bomb on the battlefield.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay called such crank calls “despicable.”
“Military personnel should not be needlessly worried about their families when they are fighting for our country in far away lands,” MacKay said Wednesday in a statement.
“Military families, who also make incredible sacrifices in Canada’s name, should never be the target of such an insensitive, amoral and disgusting act.”
Lt. Dennis Noel of CFB Valcartier said one woman answered the call in the middle of the night last week.
“She received a prank call saying that her husband was killed in Afghanistan by an IED (improvised explosive device),” he said ….
This and an earlier story from Postmedia News refer to these acts as “pranks”, while QMI/Sun Media uses terms like “death prankster” and “heartless pranksters” (CBC.ca refers to “crank calls”). Here’s various definitions of “prank”:
- A practical joke or mischievous trick
- A mischievous trick played on a person, especially one that causes the victim to experience embarrassment, indignity, or discomfort
- A mischievous trick or silly stunt done for amusement (MS Word)
Although the term “prank” used to have a harsher connotation (“a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement”), am I the only one that thinks of a whoopie cushion as a “prank”, not something as horrible, repulsive and disgusting as calling someone in the night to tell them a loved one is dead when they’re not?
If the CF spokesperson quoted by the Canadian Press was correctly quoted, maybe it’s time for someone to refine the messaging at that end. That said, assuming French is the first language of those working in/around Valcartier, “prank” may just be a close-but-not-exact translation for a harsher term in French reflecting the heinousness of this act. I notice French media using terms like “cruelles farces téléphoniques” or “mauvais farceur”, but I don’t know how much stronger these terms are.
If it’s reporters or editors using “prank”, think of how you’d feel about similar calls made to YOUR loved ones, and see if you can maybe wordsmith a bit.
Some of the latest:
- The Canadian Press reports, “the army has put 800 troops on standby for possible peacekeeping deployment to Haiti. The Conservative government has yet to give the green light to the mission, but defence sources say the order to move could come as early as Saturday. The soldiers would be drawn from Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, Que. They would bring along engineering units, as well as headquarters and support elements – something that signals a sustained operation….”
- The Toronto Star reports that because of a bottleneck at Port Au Prince Airport in Haiti, filled with planes filled with aid, Canadian military aircraft are having to wait their turn at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, with delayed flights, and changes in what the planes will be carrying.
- Responding to reports of post-quake disorder in Haiti (more on that from the BBC and Voice of America), Commodore Art McDonald, commander of the Canada’s naval task force headed to Haiti, is quoted by CBC.ca saying, “I don’t want to deliver aid at the barrel of a gun, but we will bring aid in the most effective means possible.”
For more news, check out these sites (newest additions in bold):
- ReliefWeb – Haiti: Earthquakes in 2010 (aggregates news and news releases from governments and NGO’s doing work in Haiti)
- European Commision News Brief aggregator (you can even pick the language of the feed)
- Google News search “Haiti+earthquake”
- Yahoo News search “Haiti+earthquake”
- NewsNow aggregator on Haiti earthquake
- Milnet.ca Discussion Forum (where military members and those interested share news/information about the work being done)