Posts Tagged ‘MERX’
- 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
- Canada imposes new sanctions on Syria - more here, here, here and here.
- A former Canadian envoy to the U.N. warns Canada to think twice about getting stuck in with Iran. “…. Major Canadian interests are potentially at risk, including the integrity of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, respect for international law, the safety of friends and kin in the region, the health of the global economy and the preservation of the public peace at home. Canadians need to engage and come to as common a view as possible on how to protect our interests and project our values in the Middle East before we find ourselves drifting into war. This issue is too important to be left to politicians and politics as usual.”
- Canada’s navy boss to talk to media about HMCS Vancover’s Med mission this afternoon.
- Ceremony to be held this Thursday in the Senate to “recognize the efforts of Canadian military personnel who took part in the NATO mission in Libya” (and to give the Canadian mission commander a medal).
- Afghanistan Mark Collins on how media coverage shapes how we see the fight.
- Private members bill to end CPP clawback of CF, RCMP pensions makes it through First Reading - more on the proposed bill here (where it’s at) and here (what’s in it). Caveat: private members bills rarely become legislation.
- U.S. National Guardsmen to join Canadians in command post ex in Petawawa later this month.
- So, whazzup with Canada buying into an expensive U.S. comms satellite system that has the opposition up in arms? More from Question Period yesterday here and here.
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) Toronto Star catches up on explosive event recorder (since the Star isn’t sharing, you can check out the bid document here or in “What’s Canada Buying?” section here) and outside-the-wire training (bid document here or in “What’s Canada Buying?” section here) bids – remember, you read it here first!
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) Wanted: someone to cart hazardous waste from abandoned radar sites in Canada’s far north for ~$20 million.
- Is Canada up to taking custody of a convicted terrorist? “Omar Khadr, the first Canadian convicted of murder, spying, and terrorism and held at Guantanamo Bay, needs another first before he can go home to serve out his sentence in a Canadian prison. Canada must first be certified as a fit place to send a convicted terrorist, a nation not likely to permit him to attack the United States, and one that has control of its prisons. That certification must be delivered to Congress signed by U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta with “the concurrence of” U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton. It’s new, but hardly trivial. It’s a part of the 2011 National Defence Authorization Act, the annual funding legislation for the entire U.S. military that, among other things, outlaws using U.S. taxpayer funds to airlift a Guantanamo detainee to the United States ….”
- Hmmmm…. “Police in Cobourg, Ont., say a military rocket launcher was among weapons seized in a search of a home in the town east of Toronto. Police said Monday that two men and a woman were arrested last Friday when officers entered the home during a weapons investigation. Investigators say they located two long rifles, a shotgun and an M72 rocket launcher used by the military. No ammunition for any of the weapons was located inside the home, but officers say suspected crack cocaine was also seized. Mark James Gordon, 23, Mark James Snider, 24, and Susan Ellen Coombes, 49, are facing weapons and drug charges ….”
- New book just out on the “Crazy 8′s” in Italy during WW2. “Anybody who’s ever been to Moncton’s Centennial Park has probably noticed the big Sherman tank between the steam engine and the ship’s anchor, but might not know the significance of the word “Coriano” in yellow lettering on the side. The Sherman that has been sitting peacefully at the park since 1972 is a tribute to the men of the 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars, one of Canada’s oldest military regiments. Coriano is the name of a little farming village in Italy where the Hussars and their tanks fought a vicious, deadly battle in September of 1944. The story of the New Brunswick tank regiment is told in a new book called Steel Cavalry: The 8th (New Brunswick) Hussars and the Italian Campaign. The book was released just before Remembrance Day. It was written by Lee Windsor, Deputy Director of the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society at the University of New Brunswick and is Volume 18 in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series published by Goose Lane Editions ….”
Written by milnewsca
22 November 11 at 12:32
Tagged with 8th Canadian Hussars, C-215, Charles Bouchard, Coriano, DEW Line, HMCS Vancouver, Iran, Libya, MERX, military news, milnews.ca, Omar Khadr, Operation Active Endeavour, Paul Maddison, Steel Cavalry, superannuation, Syria
- Next stop: Syria? “Canada is prepared to join international military intervention in Syria if sanctions and diplomacy fail but says such a decision by the United Nations is neither imminent nor inevitable. The Harper government, however, announced Sunday it would keep a patrol frigate in the Mediterranean region until 2013 – a ship that gives Canada an asset to contribute to a naval blockade of Syria should the need ever arise …. (Defence Minister Peter MacKay) told CTV’s Question Period that Canada’s armed forces are “prepared for all inevitabilities” but said in the case of Syria, there are a “cascading number of [international] sanctions that would have to happen before there would be any type of intervention.” …. “ More here, here and here.
- What the Minister is quoted saying 4-5 days ago: “Canada is watching violence in Syria but stepping in would require more thought and possibly a UN resolution, Defence Minister Peter MacKay says. MacKay spoke about Syria hours before meeting with Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak to talk about regional security and a series of agreements on defence cooperation between Canada and Israel. As France pulls its ambassador from Damascus, Syria’s capital, and the country’s suspension from the Arab League takes effect, MacKay says any possible military action needs “further contemplation” and possibly a UN Security Council resolution “to mirror the path that we followed with respect to Libya.” “There’s a number of things that would have to happen. It is a much more complex situation in many ways, given the circumstances on the ground in Syria,” MacKay said Wednesday morning. “But I can assure you in our capital and in capitals around the world, NATO countries are discussing what is happening in Syria.” ….”
- HMCS Vancouver to stay in the Mediterranean a while longer. “…. Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver, originally deployed as part of Operation Unified Protector, will remain in the Mediterranean until early 2012, when she will be relieved by HMCS Charlottetown. HMCS Vancouver and her CH-124 Sea King Helicopter detachment have been in the Mediterranean Sea since August, when she joined the NATO fleet off Libya as part of Operation Unified Protector …. HMCS Vancouver’s tasks while on Operation Active Endeavour include locating, tracking, reporting and boarding vessels of interest suspected of involvement in terrorism. Although their mandate is limited to detection and deterrence of activities related to terrorism, the NATO fleet deployed on Operation Active Endeavour has contributed to enhanced security and stability in the Mediterranean Sea …. HMCS Charlottetown will sail from her home port of Halifax in January 2012.” More from Postmedia News here and QMI/Sun Media here.
- “As early as Monday, Canada will impose tough new sanctions on Iran, which has become a top-tier foreign-policy concern for the Harper government. The West is getting ready to move against Iran. Canada will be part of the push. It’s hard, some days, to figure out which part of the Middle East is more alarming. Syria is currently dominating headlines, as the international community grapples with whether and how to prevent the Assad regime from inflicting carnage on its own population ….”
- Remember Egypt? “Canada’s defense minister on Sunday said heavy clashes pitting Egyptian forces against protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square are “very troubling,” as he called for a peaceful transition to democracy. “The situation in Egypt is very troubling,” Defense Minister Peter MacKay told reporters at the end of a three-day defense summit in easternmost Canada. “At the same time, it’s symptomatic of the challenge that still exists in Egypt as (it) makes the transition to a more democratic inclusive process.” ….” More here.
- Brian Good, 1965-2009, R.I.P. “Sandra Good wants to be able to visit a cenotaph in the city to remember her late husband, a fallen soldier. But there is no memorial in Ottawa honouring Trooper Brian Good, who was killed by a roadside bomb outside Kandahar City on Jan. 7, 2009. Good, a member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, serving with the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment stationed at CFB Petawawa, was 43. “It would be quite powerful to see that (cenotaph) in person. For the girls, too,” said Sandra Good, referring to daughters Jessica, 17, and Kayla, 16. “That would be great to have it here. We have friends and family who would like to see it.” ….”
- Guest movie review of “War Horse”
- A bunch of politicians wrap up talking about security stuff in Halifax.
- Canada’s High Commissioner to Trinidad/Tobago plays host to Canada’s CDS.
- What’s Canada Buying? 300 x helmet lights and someone to maintain Herc systems.
- One of the usual suspects defends cutting defence spending (down to zero, perhaps?)
Written by milnewsca
21 November 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, Brian Good, CC-130 Hercules, CFB Petawawa, Damascus, Egypt, Ehud Barak, helmet lights, HMCS Charlottetown, HMCS Vancouver, Mediterranean, MERX, military news, milnews.ca, NATO, Operation Active Endeavour, Operation Unified Protector, Peter MacKay, Royal Canadian Dragoons, Sandra Good, Syria, Tahrir Square, UN Security Council resolution, War Horse
- Afghanistan Canadian General now second-in-command of NATO’s Afghan training effort. “Canada’s senior general in Afghanistan has been given a much bigger assignment in a reshuffle of NATO’s top command in Kabul. Maj.-Gen. Mike Day was named deputy commander of NATO Training Mission Afghanistan (NTM-A) last week. Five American generals, a British general and three police generals now report to Day, who will be responsible for the training of hundreds of thousands of Afghan troops and police officers. “Form needed to follow function,” Day said in explaining the changes to the NTM-A, which were made by U.S. army Lt.-Gen Daniel Bolger to streamline the training command in Afghanistan by eliminating a large number of senior staff positions ….”
- “The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, congratulates the crews of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships St. John’s, Athabaskan, Algonquin, and the submarine HMCS Corner Brook, and those of the ship-borne CH-124 Sea King helicopters and the CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft, for their outstanding contributions to Operation Caribbe …. Op Caribbe is the standing US-led multinational counter-drug surveillance and law enforcement interdiction operation in the international waters of the Caribbean Basin and Eastern Pacific ….” Well done, folks!
- “Canada is poised to spend nearly half a billion dollars to gain access to a constellation of U.S. air force satellites designed to foil foreign cyber attacks. Global Mercury, as Canada’s $477 million share of the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) network, is to be known, will be immediately activated when a memorandum of understanding between the Department of National Defence and the U.S. air force is signed within the next few weeks. “Our global security interests are not all protected by planes, ships and tanks. Some of the greatest threats are invisible, but real,” Defence Minister Peter MacKay said ….”
- Mark Collins picks out a tidbit from the article mentioned above on another defence project going through a looooong beginning. Remember JUSTAS? A few historical MERX postings here, here, here and here.
- Way Up North “The Canadian military will have to look to commercial contractors and possibly even exchanges with the Americans in order to sustain itself when forces are built up in the country’s far North, a series of internal Defence Department documents show. All three branches – the navy, air force and army – have begun to grapple with the specifics of the enormous, logistical challenge presented by the Harper government’s Arctic policies. A series of reports, briefings and planning directives, obtained by The Canadian Press under access to information laws, show that the biggest concern isn’t getting forces into the harsh region, but the ability to keep them supplied with fuel, ammunition, food and shelter ….” Again, no sign of sharing the documents so we can get some context.
- “Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama are poised to unveil their long-promised border security agreement in Washington in early December. The deal comes after lengthy behind-the-scenes negotiations involving a new plan that will see both governments co-operate and share more information as they adopt a “perimeter security” approach to the border ….”
- Mark’s thoughts on the guys who want to bring you the F-35 wanting to compete for a new fixed-wing search and rescue plane.
- Speaking of the F-35 …. “U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham that defense budget cuts of as much as $1 trillion may lead to the termination of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet. In a letter today to the two Republican lawmakers, Panetta said reductions beyond the $450 billion, 10-year defense budget cuts already planned would reduce the “size of the military sharply.” If a special committee of lawmakers fails to reach agreement on U.S. deficit reduction, that would trigger a so- called sequestration. That would involve at least another $500 billion in defense cuts over a decade and reduce Pentagon programs in 2013 by 23 percent if the president exercises his authority to exempt military personnel, Panetta said ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) Someone to sell maritime comms equipment to Poland, borrowing proposed new load-bearing equipment, new autopilots for VICTORIA Class subs, cyanide poisoning antidote kits (more here) and someone to fix landscaping boo-boos caused by Combat Team Commander’s Course in Gagetown.
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) “TenCate Protective Fabrics is providing flame resistant (FR) fabric for two successful tenders in the Canadian military market. The first tender concerns the Advance Combat Ensemble (ACE) used by the Canadian Air Force. This military ensemble will be made with Nomex® FR fabric in the TenCate Brigade® product portfolio. The second tender involves TenCate Campshield™ FR liner fabric for use in tents by all Canadian Defence Forces. This FR fabric is also Nomex® based ….” More in PDF news release here.
- For some reason, it appears to be difficult (if not impossible) to get poppies on NHL jerseys as a symbol of remembrance. A wide-ranging discussion on Army.ca here on what should be done (and through who) to get this to change.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch Taliban: You support full-time U.S. bases in Afghanistan, you’re a “traitor” and will be treated as such.
- Historical Information + Google Earth = World War One Explained Graphically
- War of 1812 “A Newfoundland soldier who died almost 200 years ago and is interred on a remote Ohio island has been remembered. In late October, Lt.-Col. Alex Brennan, commander of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, laid a wreath at the monument where Lt. James Garden rests with other officers who died during the Battle of Lake Erie. “There was a great sense of pride knowing that a generation of soldiers lost 200 years ago has not been forgotten,” Brennan said of the experience. Garden was a member of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, which fought for the British during the War of 1812. The Battle of Lake Erie took place Sept. 10, 1813 as part of the conflict between the Brits and the Americans ….”
Written by milnewsca
15 November 11 at 7:45
Tagged with ACE, Advance Combat Ensemble, Afghanistan, Alex Brennan, Barack Obama, Battle of Lake Erie, CFB Gagetown, CH-124 Sea King, CP-140 Aurora, cyanokit, Daniel Bolger, F-35, Global Mercury, HMCS Algonquin, HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Corner Brook, HMCS St. John’s, James Garden, John McCain, Joint Strike Fighter, JUSTAS, Leon Panetta, Lindsey Graham, Lockheed Martin, Mark Collins, MERX, Mike Day, military news, milnews.ca, National Hockey League, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, NHL, Nomex FR, NTM-A, Operation Caribbe, perimeter security, Peter MacKay, Poppies, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, Stephen Harper, taliban, Taliban propaganda, TenCate Brigade, TenCate Campshield, TenCate Protective Fabrics, VICTORIA Class subs, War of 1812, WGS, Wideband Global Satcom
- Royal Military College Academic: Iran strikes might be the CF’s next shooting stint? “Canada may get pulled into military strikes against Iran if it comes to a showdown between western powers and the rogue state. And things could get messy considering a new report from the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog that’s expected to indicate Tehran is on the brink of being able to develop a nuclear warheads, said Houchang Hassan-Yari, an expert in military and strategic issues at the Royal Military College of Canada. “If it gets to a military campaign, I think Canada will participate with the Americans and their allies,” the international relations professor said. “If sanctions are the next avenue, Canada will participate in that.” ….”
- What a surprise: the military appears to be planning and weighing how to deal with evacuating Canadians in trouble overseas. “Plucking Canadians out of the world’s hot spots is a growing area of concern and study for military planners, who until a few years ago didn’t have their own tools or the resources to carry out such missions. Internal Defence Department documents obtained by The Canadian Press show that in the aftermath of the Libyan crisis, the Canadian military is examining not only its war-fighting skills, but its newly enhanced ability to quickly organize evacuation and rescue missions. Planners have been quietly taking stock of the world’s flash points and considering how to get military forces into those troubled regions, while at the same time smoothly getting civilians out of harm’s way …. internally at the Defence Department there has been angst about future evacuations, especially in light of expected budget cuts, suggest the documents obtained under Access to Information. Among the most worrisome trouble spots is South Korea, where frequent and increasingly violent outbursts from the hermit kingdom in the North have military planners concerned and looking for guidance. “With over 20,000 Canadian citizens resident in the (Republic of South Korea), in the event of a full-scale crisis (censored) the evacuation efforts required could significantly exceed those of the Lebanon evacuation,” said a Nov. 30, 2010 briefing note prepared for Defence Minister Peter MacKay ….” I’ve asked if CP plans to share the obtained documents online for anyone interested to read – no word back yet.
- Canada is taking part in U.S. Northern Command Exercise Operation Vigilant Shield ’12. “The U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, as well as the Canadian military, have begun an extensive annual field training exercise for the U.S. Northern Command. “Operation Vigilant Shield 12” is the biggest multi-spectrum, high-level exercise for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. Northern Command is a Unified Combatant Command of the United States military, formed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 to protect the United States homeland and support local, state, and federal authorities. Operation Vigilant Shield 12, or VS 12, is a joint exercise supported by the Joint Coalition Warfare Center and conducted as a command post exercise with a supporting field training exercise in Key West, FL. The exercise is also linked to a Canada Command exercise called “Determined Dragon,” and runs concurrently with the Arizona’s “Vigilant Guard” exercise. It runs Nov. 1-10 ….” More from the Pentagon Info-Machine here.
- Scumbags, continued. “A recently restored First World War memorial that stands outside an east end high school has been vandalized. Neighbours of Malvern Collegiate, near Victoria Park Avenue and Kingston Road, awoke Sunday morning to find the granite statue wrapped in blue duct tape. With the help of about $44,000 in donations and grants, the statue had been restored and rededicated days before, just in time for Remembrance Day ….”
- Remembrance Day (1) Veterans’ Ombudsman on Veteran’s Week.
- Remembrance Day (2) Unambiguously Ambidextrous on Remembrance Day and Canada’s newest vets. “…. There is a new generation of soldiers returning from war, something that has not been seen in Canada in about 50 years, or two generations. That’s not to trivialize Rwanda or Bosnia, but our country hasn’t had to deal with the reality of war dead in a half century and we have not handled their sacrifices very well. In fact, it would be fair to say we have broken faith with the dead, choosing not to carry on their torch and honour their sacrifices by seeing through the mission to success. It was a political decision made to pacify the pacifists created by two generations of peace. Today’s young people know nothing of war, and so their only reaction to it is revulsion ….”
- “An audit into Veterans Affairs Canada and how it handles privacy issues will be released in early 2012, Canada’s privacy commissioner said Monday. The news came as a third veteran went public with complaints into the number of times civil servants accessed his file, and how his file was handled at the agency. Sylvain Chartrand, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Bosnia, says his file was accessed more than 4,000 times between 2003 and 2010. HIs complaint is similar to one by Sean Bruyea, another veteran who advocates for veterans’ rights, and whose private medical information was shared with both Liberal and Conservative ministers of veterans affairs. A statement by a spokeswoman for Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart says an audit into how Veterans Affairs handles private information is coming soon ….”
- “A military veteran on a hunger strike collapsed momentarily during the third day of his protest against the federal government Monday. (Pascal) Lacoste is trying to convince the government to recognize that he and other soldiers were poisoned while serving overseas. The 38-year-old former soldier was leaving a camper lent to him by a friend and heading back to his SUV when he fell to the ground. An ambulance was called as his mother rushed to hold him, clutching him to her chest. Lacoste eventually recovered after taking gasps of air from an oxygen mask. But the exhausted-looking man refused to go to hospital. He decided to continue his hunger strike instead ….”
- All of a sudden, Canada’s Liberal Party is keen on helping veterans – more in an online petition here and an e-mail soliciting signatures to said petition here (PDF).
- Libya Mission How intelligence from HMCS Vancouver helped in the battle for Sirte (via the CF Info-Machine).
- Afghanistan Author/blogger Terry Glavin reminds us that it’s Pakistan, the puppetmaster, that should be talked to, not the puppets.
- CF testing new helmets (via Army News)
- What’s Canada Buying? Technical help in improving how explosives are detected via electronic beams (more details in excerpt from bid documents – PDF – here), and VICTORIA-class sub periscope simulators.
- CF looking for more military artists. “The Canadian Forces Artists Program allows Canadian artists the opportunity to record Canada’s soldiers in Canada and around the world. It follows the long-standing tradition of Canadian war artists and is designed to portray today’s Canadian military experience through art while providing artists with a taste of military life. These artists, all volunteers, are helping usher in a new era of Canadian military art …. A new competition is currently being held for the selection of a new group of Canadian artists who wish to participate in the program. Selected artists will be able to participate in a military-related exercise for a period of approximately seven to ten days. This opportunity is designed to springboard their creativity, create works of art depicting military life and to provide memorable military experiences. There is no payment for artists, who in turn are not required to provide works to the program. However, artists may be asked to lend some works for promotional art tours or other uses. Deadline for applications is November 30, 2011 ….”
- Canada and Foreign Intelligence (1) “As the Harper government prepares to re-introduce the anti-terrorism measures that were allowed to lapse because of opposition concerns about privacy and Charter rights, there are whispers Conservative plans to expand the role of Canada’s spy service to operate overseas are being dusted off. Currently, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is largely concerned with domestic intelligence and is able to conduct covert operations overseas only if there is a direct threat to Canada. In their 2006 election platform, the Tories promised to overturn this arrangement and set up a separate foreign intelligence service. Once elected, they were persuaded by the bureaucracy that it would be quicker and cheaper to allow CSIS to take on the role ….”
- Canada and Foreign Intelligence (2) Why blogger/info curator Mark Collins is underwhelmed with the above-mentioned idea.
- Unlike how media treat reporters being kidnapped, right? ”Former Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, whose kidnapping by al-Qaida made international headlines, says media “blackouts” of such events can prevent ransom demands from escalating to the point where they cannot be met. Fowler, then a United Nations special envoy in Niger, was abducted Dec. 14, 2008 on a highway outside the country’s capital, Niamey. He spent the next 130 days in the Sahara Desert with his captors, members of a shadowy jihadist group known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Fowler told the Ottawa Citizen’s editorial board Monday that his web-savvy captors viewed media coverage of his kidnapping on laptop computers and Nokia cellphones. From it, he said, they came to believe he was on a “secret mission” in Niger, a suggestion reported in the Globe and Mail. “Was it harmful to me? Yes, likely,” he said. “The idea that you can write things here that won’t impact there is just — in this globalized world — crazy.” ….”
- “A Canadian man has been indicted in Seattle for allegedly conspiring to support the Sri Lankan terrorist group the Tamil Tigers nearly six years ago. The single-count indictment against Ramanan Mylvaganam, 34, is the result of a jurisdictional dispute between federal prosecutors in New York City’s Brooklyn borough and Mylvaganam’s attorneys. Mylvaganam is a former Bellevue resident. Brooklyn prosecutors in 2006 had indicted Mylvaganam along with nine others in connection with an alleged plot to pay to import surface-to-air missiles and other military equipment to the Tamil Tigers. The charges also alleged the group was attempting to bribe U.S. officials to have the Tamil Tigers removed from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. Mylvaganam’s attorneys had argued that federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York had no jurisdiction over Mylvaganam’s alleged crimes because he was living at the time in Bellevue, according to court papers ….”
Written by milnewsca
8 November 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Afghanistan, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, Canadian Forces Artists Program, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS, evacuation of Canadians, HMCS Vancouver, Houchang Hassan-Yari, Iran, Jennifer Stoddart, Joint Coalition Warfare Center, Liberal Party, Libya, Libyan unrest, Malvern Collegiate, Mark Collins, Melissa Fung, MERX, military news, milnews.ca, NEO, non-combatant evacuation operation, NORTHCOM, Northern Command, Odyssey Dawn, Operation Mobile, Operation Vigilant Shield '12, Pascal Lacoste, Privacy Commissioner, Ramanan Mylvaganam, Robert Fowler, Royal Military College, Sean Bruyea, Sirte, South Korea, Sri Lanka, strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, Sylvain Chartrand, Tamil Tigers, Task Force Libeccio, terahertz, Terry Glavin, Unambiguously Ambidextrous, Unified Protector, Veterans Affairs Canada, Veterans' Ombudsman, VS12
- MCPL Byron Greff, 3PPCLI, R.I.P. He’s home – more here. Photos of his ramp ceremony in Afghanistan on Facebook here (thanks to Senior Airman Kat Lynn Justen of the USAF Info-machine).
- Afghanistan (1) Meanwhile, the CF Info-machine shares a backgrounder on part of the training mission. “The Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC) is the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) flagship training institution. Located on the eastern outskirts of Afghanistan’s capital city, the KMTC can house and train up to 12,000 trainees at a time. Over 60,000 soldiers graduate from courses at the KMTC annually. Two hundred and thirty-five Canadian Forces advisors serve at the KMTC as part of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. Thirty-five members have been with the KMTC since mid-June and the remaining 200 recently arrived in October ….”
- Afghanistan (2) Canadian ingenuity as we continue to pack up in Kandahar. “The Armour Removal Platoon of the Mission Closure Unit is responsible for removing the armour added to the combat vehicles used by Canadian troops in Kandahar Province and packing it for shipment back to Canada. The process of dismounting the armour from the vehicles is difficult, labour-intensive and inherently dangerous. Because safety had to be our highest priority, it was difficult to achieve any speed on the production line. That was the case until Private Bryan Capiak and Corporal Bradley Van Olm developed a new way to take the heaviest pieces of armour — the four Z bars — off the Light Armoured Vehicle Mk III (LAV III) ….”
- Afghanistan (3) Well done. “On October 20th, 2011, Canada’s Acting Head of Mission Philip MacKinnon and Detective Ken Brander, a member of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS), donated 11 Kobo e-readers to a group of female students of the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA). Each e-reader comes with 50 classic books pre-loaded, which will greatly increase the number of books available at the SOLA library and allow young Afghan students to perfect their reading skills. The funds to purchase the e-readers were raised by Detective Brander’s EPS colleagues including a group of dedicated resource officers, local business, friends, and family, on behalf of Ross Sheppard High School in Edmonton, Alberta ….”
- Afghanistan (4) “The Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary does not appeal to all students. But some are more interested in war studies than peace studies. For them, the interest and focus they bring to class ensures an enormously fulfilling experience, particularly for us who teach them. Ryan Flavelle is one such student. Like several others, he is also a member of the military. Unlike his colleagues, he has written a riveting book. It deals with his service in the southern Panjwaii district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Flavelle’s motives for writing The Patrol: Seven Days in the Life of a Canadian Soldier in Afghanistan were both universal and personal. Like every historian from Thucydides to the present, he wanted to ensure the memory of the immediacy of his experiences would not be lost in oblivion. But the personal side of his story is far more compelling ….”
- Libya NATO flies its last air mission. “…. a NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AWACS) conlcuded the last flight of Operation Unified Protector. With this, a successful chapter in NATO’s history has come to an end. Since the beginning of the NATO operation, NATO air assets conducted over 26,500 sorties, including over 9,700 strike sorties to protect the people of Libya from attack or the threat of attack ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) LOADS o’ questions on the F-35 (transcripts from Hansard here, here, here and here) during Question Period in the House of Commons so far this week.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) “Military planners are concerned the Harper government is buying too few F-35 fighters with almost no room for any loss of the stealth jets throughout their projected lifetimes, according to internal Defence Department briefings. “Canada is the only country that did not account (for) attrition aircraft” in its proposal, said an undated capability-and-sustainment briefing given to senior officers late last year ….” No indication of The Canadian Press sharing the briefing notes in question.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (3) Postmedia News Columnist: “…. Harper has often shown an ability to execute tactical retreats with lightning speed, if he feels he’s lost the high ground. Look for that to happen with the F-35, sooner rather than later, as the economic gloom deepens south of the border.”
- Big Honkin’ Ships Duelling academics: “…. Marc Milner, naval history professor at the University of New Brunswick, said the vessels will let the navy cruise the Canada’s Arctic waters later in the fall and earlier in the spring, though winter access will still be the domain of the Coast Guard. The ships also give the navy full year-round access to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. He said that, while the new Arctic patrol vessels fit into the Harper government’s Canada First Defence Policy, which is looking to expand the reach and scope of the country’s military, the ships are not designed for serious combat. “Nobody anticipates getting into a real big dustup in the Arctic,” Milner said. “More effort will be put into their sensor suite and communications equipment than in their weapons.” The Arctic vessels will fulfil a constabulary rather than a combat role, Milner said. The icebreakers will let the navy patrol emerging shipping routes in the melting Arctic ice. The Russian route through the Arctic, from Europe to China, is “pretty much commercialized,” he said, with several ships having passed through this summer escorted by Russian icebreakers. “There’s good reason for us to be up there with a little more presence than we have at the moment,” Milner said. Paul Mitchell, a naval historian with the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., said the Arctic ships will likely have little more than an anti-aircraft Bofors gun on their bows. “Despite the growing interests in the Arctic, the area is well handled by diplomatic efforts,” Mitchell said ….”
- Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino set to say something in Richmond, B.C. today.
- What’s Canada Buying? Event recorders for armoured vehicles in Afghanistan, loads o’ flashlights and rain jackets for sailors.
- “A new silver coin will commemorate Canada’s Highway of Heroes, as a tribute to the country’s war dead and the people who line the route to honour them. The Royal Canadian Mint says $20 from the sale of each coin will be shared between the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial and the Military Families Fund. The silver coin, which has a face value of $10, will retail for $69.95 and only 25,000 will be produced ….” More from the Royal Canadian Mint here and here.
- New Library of Parliament paper: “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and the Mental Health of Military Personnel and Veterans”
- Remember the chap threatening a hunger strike over how he’s been treated by Veterans Affairs Canada? Here’s what the Minister is saying about the issue in Question Period: “When our brave soldiers are deployed to theatres of operation, such as Rwanda or Bosnia, they may suffer serious injuries. That is why we are implementing specific and effective programs and services that are based on the most recent scientific data. When we implemented improvements to the new veterans charter, it was specifically to help veterans who had the most serious injuries or illnesses. As soon as I was made aware of this situation, I asked the officials in my department to take the necessary measures.”
- Whazzup with Khadr Boy’s return? “The Conservatives are continuing to play coy over whether or not they’ll allow convicted war criminal Omar Khadr return to Canada. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Tuesday he will decide in good time if and when Toronto-born Khadr can return home to finish his sentence for murdering a U.S. Army medic in Afghanistan. “I put the safety of Canadians first,” he said. “A decision will be made on this file, as on all applications, in due course.” The Conservatives were in the firing line from opposition parties, who accuse the Tories of trying to back out of a commitment they made with the U.S. government a year ago to allow Khadr to return to Canada after serving a year of his eight year sentence. “This fellow was arrested when he was 14-years-old and held since then and ought to have the benefit of Canadian laws,” said NDP justice critic Jack Harris ….” More from Question Period on Khadr here, from QMI/Sun Media here and from Agence France-Presse here.
- “Canadians should “absolutely” be concerned about a call for young Somalis in Canada to kill non-Muslims made by a terrorist group linked to al-Qaida, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews warned Monday. Toews was responding to Al Shabaab, which released a recording on the weekend from a suicide bomber calling for a jihad in Canada and other countries. “If there are individuals with information that can assist us detecting any terrorist threat we would ask them to provide us with that information,” Toews said, adding that the Somali community works with Ottawa on security matters. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the RCMP, the Communications Security Establishment and the Privy Council Office – the bureaucratic arm of the Prime Minister’s Office – are Canada’s terrorist watchdogs. “We are aware of, and take very seriously, the threat posed by Al-Shabaab,” said CSIS spokesperson Tahera Mufti ….”
Written by milnewsca
2 November 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Afghanistan, Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial, Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, al-Qaida, al-Shabaab, Armour Removal Platoon, AWACS, Bradley Van Olm, Bryan Capiak, Byron Greff, Canada First Defence Policy, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, CSIS, Edmonton Police Service, F-35, Highway of Heroes, Jack Harris, Joint Strike Fighter, Julian Fantino, Kabul Military Training Centre, Kandahar, Kat Lynn Justen, Ken Brander, KMTC, Kobo, LAV III, Library of Parliament, Libya, Libyan unrest, Light Armoured Vehicle Mk III, Marc Milner, MERX, Military Families Fund, military news, milnews.ca, Mission Closure Unit, National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan, NTM-A, Odyssey Dawn, Omar Khadr, Operation Mobile, Panjwaii, Pascal Lacoste, Paul Mitchell, Philip MacKinnon, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and the Mental Health of Military Personnel and Veterans, Ross Sheppard High School, Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Military College, Ryan Flavelle, School of Leadership Afghanistan, SOLA, Tahera Mufti, Task Force Libeccio, The Patrol, Unified Protector, University of Calgary, University of New Brunswick, Vic Toews, Z bars
- Afghanistan “The women of the Canadian Forces played a much bigger combat role in Afghanistan than they did in earlier overseas missions, according to a research paper to be presented this week. The study found 310 Canadian women were deployed to Afghanistan in combat positions such as infantry in 2001-11, more than triple the number that had frontline fighting roles in the 1990s. “So they are making a significant contribution, for example, to the Afghan mission, more so I think than the public is aware,” said Krystel Carrier-Sabourin, a doctoral student at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont ….”
- Cuts at Veterans Affairs Canada (1) “An opposition manoeuvre that prompted a public exploration of the effects of cuts at the Veterans Affairs department could come to a quick end. The Commons committee investigating the issue went behind closed doors Tuesday after hearing from just one set of witnesses in its study of the reduction of $226-million over two years to the department’s $3.5-billion budget ….”
- Cuts at Veterans Affairs Canada (2) Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Eve Adams: no benefit cuts are in the works. “The minister could not have been clearer in answering the question about whether or not veterans’ benefits would be cut. The expert witnesses we heard today at committee could not have been clearer on whether or not veterans’ benefits would be cut. So I will add my voice to answer the question for the member for Charlottetown and let me say it very simply and very clearly. There will be no cuts to veterans’ benefits.”
- Highway of Heroes coin to be unveiled soon by the Royal Canadian Mint. “Since the start of the Afghanistan war, thousands of Canadians have stood on bridges and lined streets to watch motorcades head west on the Highway of Heroes. The motorcades include hearses carrying the remains of Canada’s war dead. Family members ride in other vehicles. To commemorate those ultimate sacrifices and the groundswell of public tribute, the Royal Canadian Mint has struck a commemorative coin. The mint will unveil the Highways of Heroes silver commemorative coin at a ceremony Monday at Quinte West City Hall in Trenton. The coin was the brainchild of QMI Agency visual journalist Pete Fisher. He’s also the author of the recently released book Highway of Heroes, True Patriot Love ….”
- “A Canadian war amputee and Canucks legend Richard Brodeur will come together …. to announce the Heroes Hockey Challenge, a national charity benefiting wounded soldiers and their families. “Remember that these families weren’t drafted into this. These individuals chose to go into it, but it’s much more difficult for their families,” said Master Cpl. Paul Franklin, a double amputee. In January 2006, a convoy Franklin was riding in was hit by a suicide bomber in Kandahar, Afghanistan, severing his left leg. He later underwent 26 surgeries before his right leg was also amputated …. The charity will see galas and charity hockey games in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Halifax in the early new year. The events will feature auctions, celebrity guests, NHL stars and live entertainment. The games, taking place in each city’s official NHL arena, will pit former NHL greats against Canadian soldiers ….” More on the Heroes Hockey Challenge here (Facebook) and here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) Associate Minister of National Defence drops by Winnipeg to tell everyone the benefits of the F-35 deal – more here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Defence Minister takes softball question in the House of Commons on the Joint Strike Fighter. “Ms. Joyce Bateman (Winnipeg South Centre, CPC): Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has made unprecedented investments in Canada’s armed forces. Our commitment to rebuilding their capacity, after a decade or darkness, is ensuring that our brave men and women have the tools they need. The work to supply this equipment is also providing an incredible boost to the Canadian economy. Could the Minister of National Defence please inform the House of recent developments on the economic benefits of the F-35 program? Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my friend from Winnipeg is right. Our government has committed to provide the air force with the F-35 and has enabled Canadian companies to compete for large-scale contracts to help build the aircraft for the global supply chain. Today, Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg celebrated the opening of its new advanced composites manufacturing centre, which will house the production lines for parts as well as the assembly of the horizontal tail structure for the F-35. This work at Bristol, we are told, will create 100 new jobs. Our government is proud to stand with Canadians and for the Canadian economy and the Canadian Forces. We wish the opposition would stop fearmongering and support— “
- Big Honkin’ Ships Globe & Mail column: “…. the shipbuilding contract broke with a long Canadian tradition, produced a rational, fact-based decision, bullet-proofed the government from any charge of political interference, and gives Canada a chance to build a more streamlined and efficient industry. Hats off to the Harper government.”
- If the socialists aren’t happy with the big honkin’ ships and the F-35′s, they MUST be good! “…. The expenditures fit with Canada’s increasingly aggressive military posture in the world. From its combat roles in Afghanistan and Libya to its police/military occupation role in Haiti, Canada is joining the front ranks of imperialist countries that are increasingly turning to military force to advance their economic interests and maintain the unequal and unfair international status quo ….”
- Mark Collins on “The CF and Canadian Western Hemisphere Neo-Imperialism”
- “…. Numbers still matter, of course, but the static budgetary and counting exercises of the Cold War count for much less when what matters most is whether you are prepared to fight for something other than your own immediate defence. In retrospect, it seems clear that many Europeans’ commitment to collective defence during the standoff with the Soviets wasn’t much more than a commitment to their own defence. In a post-Cold War era, when the burdens of NATO membership entail sending one’s troops to actually fight in faraway places, most European governments are decidedly less interested. So who’s a “free rider” now? And how long, in an era of prolonged economic austerity, will Canada and the few other allies who actually contribute to the fighting be prepared to accept these costs when so many others are not?“
- What’s Canada Buying? Wanted: someone to “supply …. labour, material, supervision and equipment necessary to construct a new urban assault course including concrete, carpentry, roofing and foundations in Petawawa, Ontario …. The estimated cost for this opportunity is in the order of $401,600.00 ….”
- “It will take up to 150 days to answer an access-to-information request for the costs of adding the word “royal” to the air and maritime divisions of the Canadian Forces, says the Defence Department. In a request dated Sept. 27, The Canadian Press asked for documentation of the costs to restore the words “Royal Canadian” to the air force and navy. However, the Canadian Forces says it needs more time because it has to consult with the Privy Council Office about possible cabinet confidentiality issues. The department has extended the 30-day deadline for a response to March 26. Defence Minister Peter MacKay repeatedly declined to give a cost estimate during the Aug. 16 news conference announcing the change, saying the value of restoring the traditional names was “priceless.” ….” We’ll see how long we’ll have to wait for the media outlet to release the material to the public once it reaches the media’s hands….
- “Lieutenant General Walter Semianiw, the Commander of Canada Command, will visit Finland from 25-26 October 2011. Canada Command is the organisation responsible for the national defence of Canada. General Semianiw’s host in Finland will be Rear Admiral Juha Rannikko, Chief of Defence Command Finland ….”
- The Canadian Forces apparently beat out CBC in Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa. “The Conservative government’s overhaul of the 2011 Canada Day celebrations, which included scrapping plans to honour the CBC’s 75th anniversary, drew ire from the opposition Tuesday. As reported by iPolitics Tuesday morning, Conservative officials drastically changed what the Canadian Heritage department had in mind for the Canada Day show on Parliament Hill. A suggestion to celebrate the CBC was rebuffed, and a renewed emphasis was placed on the Canadian Armed Forces ….” This, from Heritage Minister James Moore during Question Period yesterday: “I think my colleague is talking about my speech on Canada Day last year, which I wrote myself. Instead of celebrating the CBC, which the member is free to do as he wants, what I chose to say instead in my speech was, “On this Canada Day…to those men and women of the Canadian Forces serving in Afghanistan, in Libya, and other difficult places in the world: to put it simply, you are the bravest and the best, we are proud of your service, and we are honoured by the work that you do for Canada”. That is what I said instead of praising the CBC. I had two minutes, and I stand by my decision.”
- “The iconic poem In Flanders Fields immortalized the poppy as a symbol of remembrance for Canadian soldiers since the First World War. But it’s also a registered trademark, owned and so closely guarded by the Royal Canadian Legion that a motorcycle club of veterans isn’t allowed to include a small one in its own logo without lawyers threatening legal action. Capt. Michael Blow, president of the Canadian Veteran Freedom Riders (CVFR), who devoted 35 years of his life to the military, has one in his club’s crest. It’s a little difficult to see, but it’s there. And the Legion doesn’t like that one bit ….” Discussion on this at Army.ca here.
- “George W. Bush’s visit to Surrey, B.C., on Thursday was met with a protest and an unsuccessful courtroom bid to have him detained for torture during his presidency. Roughly 200 demonstrators chanted for his detainment, many waving their shoes in the air, in reference to a 2008 incident at Baghdad press conference, when Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi hurled a sneaker at the former president …. As Bush arrived …. the Canadian Centre for International Justice filed a private prosecution in a Surrey provincial court to have him arrested. Made on behalf of four plaintiffs the unsuccessful attempt joined calls by Amnesty International, as well as a 4,000-page legal submission to Canada’s Attorney General …. He and other members of his administration insist their measures were both legal under international law, and necessary to prevent terrorism after September 11, 2001. In one exchange with demonstrators yesterday, one RCMP officer guarding the Surrey Regional Economic Forum — where Bush was to speak alongside another former U.S. president, Bill Clinton — said the former president could not be arrested because he is an “internationally protected person.” ….”
- Alexander Johnston, 1885-1918, R.I.P “Private Alexander Johnston, a Canadian casualty of the First World War whose remains were identified last spring, was buried today with full military honours at Cantimpré Canadian Cemetery, in Sailly-lez-Cambrai, France. In attendance were members of Private Johnston’s family, a Canadian Forces contingent, Mr. Marc Lortie, Canadian Ambassador to France as well as other French dignitaries ….” More here, here and here.
Written by milnewsca
26 October 11 at 7:45
Tagged with access-to-information request, Afghanistan, Alexander Johnston, Amnesty International, Bill Clinton, Canada Command, Canada Day, Canadian Centre for International Justice, Canadian Veteran Freedom Riders, Cantimpré Canadian Cemetery, CFB Petawawa, CVFR, Eve Adams, F-35, Finland, George W. Bush, Heroes Hockey Challenge, Highway of Heroes coin, In Flanders Fields, James Moore, Joint Strike Fighter, Juha Rannikko, Julian Fantino, Krystel Carrier-Sabourin, Marc Lortie, Mark Collins, MERX, Michael Blow, military news, milnews.ca, Ms. Joyce Bateman, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, Paul Franklin, Pete Fisher, Peter MacKay, poppy, Richard Brodeur, Royal Canadian, Royal Canadian Legion, Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Military College in Kingston, Sailly-lez-Cambrai, Surrey Regional Economic Forum, urban assault course, Veterans Affairs Canada, Walter Semianiw
- Libya Mission (1) “The Canadian commander who leads NATO’s mission in Libya says he’s worried about the North African country’s stockpile of surface-to-air missiles. “There are many weapons left over in that country,” Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard told CTV’s Question Period in an exclusive interview. While a large portion of those are small arms, such as Kalashnikov rifles, others are surface-to-air missiles that Bouchard said “are of concern, and they will remain of concern throughout.” There are believed to be more than 20,000 shoulder-fired missiles in Libya, which Moammar Gadhafi had purchased over the years. The fear is that those weapons could wind up on the black market where terrorist groups could buy them ….”
- Libya Mission (2) PM Harper on Libya’s opposition claiming “liberation”: “Today, Canadians join with the Libyan people in celebrating the liberation of their country. “The Libyan people have courageously risen up against decades of tyranny. Canada’s involvement, as sanctioned by the United Nations and led by NATO, has supported their aspirations for the future. “We join Libyans in welcoming the post-Gaddafi era and the transition of the country to a democratic society – one that respects human rights and the rule of law ….”
- Libya Mission (3) Meanwhile, on that respecting human rights and rule of law thing…. “…. An official who opened the ceremony at Freedom Square in Benghazi said, “We declare to the whole world that we have liberated our beloved country, with its cities, villages, hill-tops, mountains, deserts and skies.” …. Another formal declaration was made by NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who saluted all the martyrs who died in search of this day. He also thanked the Arab League, the UN and the EU. During his speech, delivered to tens of thousands in festival mood, he said that Islamic law, including polygamy, would be upheld in Libya. “We as a Muslim nation have taken Islamic sharia as the source of legislation, therefore any law that contradicts the principles of Islam is legally nullified,” he said, according to Reuters Africa. He called on Libyans to follow the law and not to use force anymore. He asked for tolerance and patience from people as they enter a new era ….”
- Libya Mission (4) “The day of reckoning for Moammar Gadhafi — what would be the last day of his life — was in the mission commander’s crosshairs. Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard could have watched, in real time, as the deposed dictator was run to ground in a sewer, yanked bloody but alive from his hidey-hole, and set upon by revolutionary fighters. It was the bloody climax to a long, often second-guessed, campaign. Yet the Operation Unified Protector boss from Chicoutimi took his eyes off the drama, visible to him by sophisticated surveillance technology …. “Was I watching? No, I wasn’t. If I had, then I’m not looking at the whole country,’’ Bouchard told the Star by telephone Sunday from his NATO headquarters in Naples. “The death of Gadhafi was not something that I had included in my strategic planning. To be honest, I was surprised that he was still in Sirte. I thought he was probably somewhere in the southern Libyan desert.’’ ….” More on this here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War “Canada’s new multibillion-dollar stealth fighters are expected to arrive without the built-in capacity to communicate from the country’s most northerly regions — a gap the air force is trying to close. A series of briefings given to the country’s top air force commander last year expressed concern that the F-35′s radio and satellite communications gear may not be as capable as that of the current CF-18s, which recently went through an extensive modernization. Military aircraft operating in the high Arctic rely almost exclusively on satellite communications, where a pilot’s signal is beamed into space and bounced back down to a ground station. The F-35 Lightning will eventually have the ability to communicate with satellites, but the software will not be available in the initial production run, said a senior Lockheed Martin official, who spoke on background. It is expected to be added to the aircraft when production reaches its fourth phase in 2019, but that is not guaranteed because research is still underway. “That hasn’t all been nailed down yet,” said the official. “As you can imagine there are a lot of science projects going on, exploring what is the best . . . capability, what satellites will be available.” ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) “The Department of National Defence CFB Wainwright has a requirement for the supply of Ballistic Shield Kits, Ballistic Shield Panels, and Ballistic Floor Boards …. Vendor Name and Address: CAPTEURS DE BALLES CBBT INC, 95 Route Duchesnay, Ste-Catherine de la Jacques-Cartier, Quebec, Canada …. The estimated value of the contract including shipping is $104,309.65 (GST extra) ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) “The Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces require the services of a Contractor, on an “as and when requested” basis, to operate the Polar Epsilon (PE) Near Real-Time Ship Detection (NRTSD) System, which delivers to the Canadian East and West Regional Joint Operations Centres (RJOC) a capability to exploit RADARSAT 2 for all-weather, day and night, wide area surveillance, for purposes of contributing to the wide area situational awareness of the maritime approaches to Canada and North America and to foreign littoral areas where the Canadian Forces may be deployed ….” More details in excerpt from bid document (21 page PDF) here.
- What’s Canada Buying? (3) Belt, Trousers, Nylon webbing x (at least) 15,000
- What’s Canada Buying? (4) “The Department of National Defence (DND) has a requirement for the management, administrative and technical services related to video pre-production, production, and post-production to the Chief of the Maritime Staff (CMS) through the Manager of Broadcast Media Production of Director Naval Public Affairs DNPA) ….“
- “Once a week Hugh MacPhee and about a dozen or so former shipmates gather for coffee, swap stories as old friends do, and sometimes share memories that 42 years on remain as dark as the brew in their cups. They are survivors of the Canadian navy’s worst peacetime disaster, the Oct. 23, 1969 explosion and fire that crippled the HMCS Kootenay, killing nine and injuring 55. The destroyer was doing power trials in the English Channel when its starboard gearbox exploded, sending a fireball through the engine room and along the main passageway. McPhee was among almost 100 members of the original crew who gathered at a seaside park on Sunday to lay wreaths and remember their fallen friends. “Our ship’s motto was ‘We are as one’ and we still gather strength from that,” he said his voice shaking a bit. “We talk about it, help each other, because a lot of the guys suffered from post-traumatic stress afterwards.” ….” More here, here and here.
- German POW internal justice while interred in Canada. “The order filtered down in the summer of 1944: Karl Lehmann was a traitor who had to die. Like other prisoner of war camps in Canada, Medicine Hat, Alta. camp No. 132 had its own internal police force, its own hierarchies and government, its own systems of discipline. Though the camp was guarded on the outside by Canadian soldiers, daily life inside the wire was entirely dictated by the German inmates themselves. After an attempt was made on Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s life that July at his field headquarters in East Prussia, rumours circulated that a revolutionary movement was planning to take over the Medicine Hat camp by force. Canada’s highest-ranking prisoner of war decreed from Ontario that anyone suspected of traitorous activities against the German army was to be identified and killed in a way that looked like a suicide. One of those suspected traitors was Karl Lehmann ….”
- Theatre review: “Billy Bishop Goes to War is a 100 percent, pure maple leaf saga. It is the colourful and sometimes controversial story of how an unlikely young man from Owen Sound, Ontario, became Canada’s most famed First World War flying ace after flunking out of Royal Military College of Canada for cheating. The Toronto City Airport on Toronto Island is now named for him ….”
Written by milnewsca
24 October 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Adolf Hitler, Ballistic Floor Boards, Ballistic Shield Kits, Ballistic Shield Panels, Benghazi, Billy Bishop, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Camp No. 132, CAPTEURS DE BALLES CBBT INC, CFB Wainwright, Charles Bouchard, Chief of the Maritime Staff, CMS, Director Naval Public Affairs, DNPA, F-35, Freedom Square, HMCS Kootenay, Joint Strike Fighter, JSF, Karl Lehmann, Libya, Libyan unrest, Lockheed Martin, Manager of Broadcast Media Production, MERX, military news, milnews.ca, Moammar Gadhafi, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, National Transition Council, Near Real-Time Ship Detection System, NRTSD, NTC, Odyssey Dawn, Operation Mobile, Polar Epsilon, RADARSAT 2, Regional Joint Operations Centre, RJOC, Royal Military College of Canada, sharia, Ste-Catherine de la Jacques-Cartier, Stephen Harper, Task Force Libeccio, Unified Protector, We are as one
- What’s Canada (Not) Buying? An answer from DND regarding the cancellation of the process to replace the Canadian Ranger Rifle and General Service Pistol: the process apparently needs more work. “The DND Small Arms Modernization (SAM) Project Management Office (PMO) requested that Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) cancel both the (General Service Pistol) and the (New Canadian Ranger Rifle) Price and Availability (P&A) requests on MERX as a result of questions, and requests for clarification, from industry. The feedback from industry brought the DND SAM PMO to re-evaluate its procurement strategy. The DND SAM PMO is now focusing efforts on clarifying the procurement strategy for the GSP and NCRR with the intent to facilitate future communication with industry. The comments and observations received from industry in response to the P&A requests will be considered when the final requirements are written. The replacement of the GSP and NCRR remain a priority for DND. The next step of the project will be to obtain Preliminary Project Approval (PPA). No additional solicitations will be posted on MERX until after PPA is obtained and an approved procurement strategy is in place ….” Full response (2 page PDF) here – you read it here first!
- Afghanistan Medical trainers among the training teams. “Operation ATTENTION began in April 2011 with the arrival in the Kabul area of the first of some 950 Canadian Forces members who will deploy with the Canadian Contingent Training Mission–Afghanistan, Canada’s contribution to the NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan. Their mission is to work with the training cadre of the Afghan National Army (ANA) to build a force capable of meeting Afghanistan’s security needs after 2014. In July 2011, a group of Canadian Forces health-care providers deployed on Op ATTENTION with a Training Development Officer to serve as advisor-mentors to their Afghan counterparts at the Armed Forces Academy of Medical Sciences (AFAMS) in Kabul ….”
- CBC sends reporter to see what’s happening in Jamaica with Operation Jaguar. “For over four decades, Canada trained the helicopter pilots and mechanics of the Jamaica Defence Force. But last year, Jamaica decided to bring home the training and do all the work itself. However, its mechanics couldn’t keep up with the demand and after a while the Jamaicans found themselves in the very uncomfortable position of not having enough working helicopters, meaning no way to conduct high-stakes rescues and medical evacuations. With a very bad hurricane season predicted, officials there were worried. So they called up Canada and asked if we could send down some of our world-class search and rescue crews. Canada agreed and, in mid-August, sent along three Griffon helicopters and 65 Canadian Forces personnel — only the second time in history that Canada’s search and rescue teams have been deployed in another country ….” CBC coverage of Canada’s training mission in Afghanistan? Not so much lately….
- “Just because the combat mission in Afghanistan is over doesn’t mean the training stops for thousands of Canadian soldiers who are involved a record-setting exercise operation in this east-central Alberta military base. Roughly 3,000 troops from the Petawawa-based 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group are involved in a month-long training operation dubbed Exercise Maple Resolve at the base roughly 230 km east of Edmonton. Colonel Lowell Thomas, commander of Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre based in CFB Wainwright, said training is no longer focused on efforts in Afghanistan. “We’ve now moved to train troops for operations anywhere in the world, in any type of operation as well,” said Thomas. The month-long operation is the largest undertaking for the training command centre, which has been based at CFB Wainwright since 2004 ….”
- “The Royal Canadian Legion says veterans’ programs should be protected from proposed government spending cuts. Legion president Pat Varga says the government has a moral debt to veterans and should exempt their benefits from the cuts. The government has asked all departments to offer budget cuts of five per cent and 10 per cent in a major spending review. The proposals are being studied by the cabinet. But Varga says any programs, services or benefits for vets should be exempt both from the review and any eventual spending reductions ….”
- HMCS Ottawa back home on the west coast after “a four and a half month operational deployment and goodwill tour in the Asia Pacific region” – welcome home!
- What one columnist says came out of the Toronto Maple Leafs spending three days practicing at the arena at CFB Trenton this week.
- Way Up North Mark Collins on “One Less Threat to Our “Arctic Sovereignty” “
- Here’s something to be careful about with the impending “perimeter security” deal between Canada and the U.S. “…. If the new $1-billion perimeter security deal, dubbed Beyond the Border, is an example of big-picture thinking, then its reception may have got fuzzy for many Canadians. Proponents have praised the deal’s measures to reduce cross-border red tape, expand border infrastructure and generally speed up bilateral trade. However, other U.S. actions, such as musings about possibly levying new tariffs on rail cargo from Canadian ports or passing legislation saddling non-U.S. banks with costs associated with new tax reporting requirements for non-resident U.S. citizens, have raised fears our largest trading partner is increasingly retreating behind protectionist and isolationist walls ….”
- Amnesty International wants Canada to arrest former U.S. President George W. Bush while he’s here for an economic summit later this month – more here, here and here. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight….
- A bit of government money ($39,980) for an exhibit about a Canadian General. “The Museum Strathroy-Caradoc will be able to share the story of General Sir Arthur Currie with Canadians, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Bev Shipley, Member of Parliament (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. The Museum will create, present, and circulate a travelling exhibition about the life and career of Strathroy native General Sir Arthur Currie. This project will trace Currie’s journey to become Canada’s top military leader during World War I and the first Canadian to attain the rank of full general ….”
Written by milnewsca
13 October 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 2 CMBG, AFAMS, Afghanistan, Amnesty International, Arctic sovereignty, Armed Forces Academy of Medical Sciences, Arthur Currie, Bev Shipley, Canadian Contingent Training Mission-Afghanistan, Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre, CCTM-A, CFB Trenton, CFB Wainwright, General Sevice Pistol, George W. Bush, HMCS Ottawa, Jamaica, James Moore, Kabul, Lowell Thomas, Maple Resolve, Mark Collins, MERX, military news, milnews.ca, Museum Strathroy-Caradoc, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, New Canadian Ranger Rifle, NTM-A, Operation Attention, Operation Jaguar, Pat Varga, perimeter security, PWGSC, Royal Canadian Legion, SAM Project, Small Arms Modernization Project, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Libya Mission (1) Canada coughing up $10M for securing WMD, blowing up unblown-up stuff (reopens Libyan embassy in Tripoli, too) - a bit of what the Minister said via the DFAIT Info-Machine here, and more from the media here and here.
- Libya Mission (2) “Canada can do more for new UN mission in Libya: Analysts – Police and judicial training, constitutional and electoral support, funding for human rights agencies—the list goes on.”
- Afghanistan U.N.: Afghan int service not very good at handling prisoners nicely. Amnesty International (AI): Canada should look into EVERY prisoner handed over to Afghan authorities – more here. AI and BC Civil Liberties Association: we need an enquiry, dammit!
- CF in Jamaica/OP Jaguar Mission number 100 completed (about 3 weeks ago), courtesy of the CEFCOM Info-Machine.
- Israel’s cabinet has approved a deal for a prisoner swap to free Gilad Shalit, who’s been a “guest” of Hamas since being kidnapped June 25, 2006. Here’s what Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird had to say: “Canada welcomes the announcement of the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and calls on his captors to adhere to the terms of the agreement. Canada has consistently called for the release of Gilad Shalit over the course of his imprisonment and hopes that he will soon be reunited with his family after being held in captivity by Hamas for more than five years.”
- Former military doctor disses available mental health support at CFB Petawawa when he was there. “…. Although I can’t speak to the entire military, I worked for at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa as a military physician from 2007-10 and can attest that the resources for mental health care on that base and the capacity of the medical system in Petawawa to handle mental illness are abysmal at best. There is a massive shortage of mental health workers and psychiatrists, as well as a total disconnect between the primary care physicians and the mental health care team ….”
- Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino drops by CFB Trenton, talks about what a good job the CF is doing of buying stuff.
- What’s Canada Buying? More robot control work: “…. Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) – Suffield, Medicine Hat, Alberta has a requirement to develop control algorithms for the Micro Hydraulic Toolkit (MHT) robot that will allow it to perform a variety of locomotion behaviours focusing on stability and performance. These control algorithms will be developed in simulation, under different terrain surfaces and tested on the real robot. The motion of the simulated robot and real robot will be compared to refine the model and provide quantitative data. Finally, the control behaviours will be integrated with a vision based leader/follower software and man machine interface ….” A bit more detail in the Statement of Work from the bid document (7 page PDF) here.
- What’s Canada (Not) Buying? Still no word on why the general service pistol and Canadian Ranger rifle replacement processes are on hold – folks are working on some answers, though.
- F-35 Tug o’ War Quakers take a stand. “The Kitchener Area Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) believes that public policy, as well as the lives of individuals, should aim to take away the occasion for war. Therefore, we oppose the Canadian government’s proposed purchase of 65 F-35 joint-strike fighter jets. The procurement of joint-strike aircraft not only fails to reduce the possibility of armed conflict, it ties Canadian policy to future military intervention overseas, without public discussion of the ramifications of this major shift in Canada’s role in world affairs ….”
- “The Harper Government today launched the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. This War helped establish our path toward becoming an independent and free country, united under the Crown with a respect for linguistic and ethnic diversity …. Over the next four years, the Government will invest to increase Canadians’ awareness of this defining moment in our history. This will include support for: a pan-Canadian educational campaign focused on the importance of the War of 1812 to Canada’s history; support for up to 100 historical re-enactments, commemorations, and local events; a permanent 1812 memorial located in the National Capital Region; interactive tours, six exhibits, and improvements to three national historic sites across the country; investments in infrastructure at key 1812 battle sites, such as Fort Mississauga and Fort York, Ontario; celebrating and honouring the links that many of our current militia regiments in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada have to the War of 1812. October 2012 will also be designated as a month of commemoration of the heroes and key battles of the War of 1812 ….” More on this here, here, here, here and here.
- Meanwhile, “It’s been almost 200 years since the War of 1812 broke out, but the smoke hasn’t cleared yet in a fight over whether present-day Canadian military regiments should be awarded official “battle honours” recognizing their links to Canadian defence units that took part in the historic conflict. A group including historians and retired military personnel is lobbying the Canadian government to end decades of official resistance and finally bestow the symbolic honours as part of the country’s War of 1812 bicentennial commemorations, a $28-million program of fort refurbishments, battle re-enactments and monument-building announced Tuesday by Heritage Minister James Moore ….” LOADS of discussion on this one here at Milnet.ca.
Written by milnewsca
12 October 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Afghanistan, Amnesty International, B.C. Civil Liberties Association, BCCLA, Browning HP, Canadian Ranger rifle replacement, CFB Petawawa, CFB Trenton, detainees, DRDC, DRDC Suffield, Fort Mississauga, Fort York, general service pistol replacement, Gilad Shalit, John Baird, Julian Fantino, Libya, Libyan disarmament, Libyan unrest, MERX, MHT robot, Micro Hydraulic Toolkit robot, military mental health, military news, milnews.ca, National Directorate of Security, NDS, Odyssey Dawn, Operation Mobile, Sig/Sauer 225, Task Force Libeccio, UNAMA, Unified Protector, War of 1812