Posts Tagged ‘NATO’
- Afghanistan (1) The latest quarterly report is out, this time tabled by the Defence Minister in the House of Commons (unlike the past few released by either the Foreign Affairs Minister or others) – more from media here.
- Afghanistan (2) Another Canadian unit packs it in at Kandahar Airfield (via CF Info-Machine, only 8 days after the ceremony)
- Afghanistan (3a) Toronto Star continues pressing story of Afghan interpreter rejected for “fast-track move to Canada” program. “An Afghan interpreter turned away from Canada says he has been hunted by insurgents on motorcycles because of his work with the Canadian military. Sayed Shah Sharifi disputes the accounts of Canadian officials who have played down the threat he faces for aiding allied forces in Kandahar. Indeed, Sharifi, 23, says he was forced to move his family out of Kandahar for more than two months last year for safety after motorcycle-borne insurgents left a chilling warning with his father. “Your son works with the Canadian Forces and we will kill him,” Sharifi recalled Wednesday in a telephone interview with the Star ….”
- Afghanistan (3b) TorStar back stops coverage with letters.
- Afghanistan (4) Rabble.ca columnist complains about CBC call-in show featuring anti-Taliban writer Terry Glavin. I’m still waiting to hear if the columnist even tried to call in.
- Libya Columnist shares kudos for Canadian mission commander as preparations continue for today’s “well done on the mission” parade at Parliament Hill.
- Let’s not forget we have troops in Darfur, too – more on Operation Saturn here.
- Mark Collins: “Canadian Defence Spending–Less There Than Proclaimed”
- Armenian media reports Canadians (military and/or civilian staff) helping NATO help Armenia. “The NATO-sponsored international expert group is in the Armenian capital Yerevan, from Wednesday to Saturday, within the framework of assistance to Armenia’s reforms in military education. The group comprises military and civil representatives from US, Canada, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania, Switzerland, and NATO ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? Wanted: someone to design and build “Infrastructure for Tactical Control Radar Modernization, Primrose, AB”
- F-35 Tug o’ War “The Conservative government insists all of its new F-35 jets will arrive with the hardware needed to talk to ground troops and prevent friendly fire, but some will still need upgrades to make it work. Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino said the stealth jets will be ready to do whatever the government asks, when it asks. “All of Canada’s F-35s will not only be capable of operating overseas the moment we get them, but be able to communicate with aircraft and know where friendly ground units are well in advance of deployment on operations,” Fantino said under questioning in the House of Commons ….” More from yesterday’s exchange in the House of Commons here.
- Canadian plane engine company STILL gets some business from an American buy. “An unusual turn of events on a U.S. military procurement contract has lightly side-swiped three of Quebec’s largest aerospace firms. Wichita-based aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft Corp. was excluded without explanation last week from a competition to supply 20 AT-6 Texan II light-attack and training planes to the Afghan air force. Its four main suppliers on the bid to the U.S. air force – which would then turn the aircraft over to the Afghan forces – were all Canadian: Longueuil’s Pratt & Whitney Canada for the PT6A-68D 1,600-horsepower engine, St. Laurent’s CAE Inc. for the crew training, St. Laurent’s CMC Esterline for the flight management system, as well as Burling-ton, Ont.-based L-3 Wescam, which was to provide day-light sensors, infrared cameras with zoom and various lasers. The elimination of Hawker Beechcraft apparently makes a winner of the Super Tucano trainer and light-attack aircraft produced by Brazil’s Embraer, the only other bidder for the contract. Matthew Perra, spokes-person for Pratt & Whitney Canada, said by email that “as with any competition there was some investment made, but this amount is not material to P&W Canada.” But it does not signify a loss for Pratt & Whitney Canada – it also supplies the same engine for Embraer’s Super Tucano ….”
- My favourite bit from this piece from CBC.ca on monitoring efforts during the G8/G20: “…. (an undercover police officer) told the court about how he attended a meeting prior to the Toronto summit. There, a protest-planning group that included several of the 17 main G20 defendants was discussing whether to lend their support to a First Nations rally. Adam Lewis, one of the 17 accused conspirators in the G20 case, interjected, “Kill whitey!” The group chuckled. Lewis, like all but one of his co-accused, is white. When a Crown lawyer asked the officer what he thought Lewis meant, Showan said in complete seriousness, to “kill white people.” “Deliberately or accidentally, the undercover officers misinterpreted hyperbolic jokes as literal statements of belief,” said Kalin Stacey, a community organizer, friend and supporter of the defendants ….” Really? I’m guessing is a similar statement was made about the protesters, it would NOT be taken as “hyperbolic jokes”.
- Credit where credit is due: CBC.ca shared the documents it’s writing about in the above-mentioned story via documentcloud.org (like here for example). Hello? Reporters? News outlets? Are you listening about sharing ATIP’ed documents?
- Private Members Bill C-354, An Act respecting the establishment and award of a Defence of Canada Medal (1946-1989), makes it through First Reading in Parliament after being introduced by NDP MP Carol Hughes: “Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be able to reintroduce this bill for the establishment and award of a defence of Canada medal for the men and women who served in the defence of Canada during the cold war. This act represents the hard work and vision of one of my constituents, retired Captain Ulrich Krings of Elliot Lake, who presented me with this proposal shortly after I was elected in 2008. Its purpose is to formally honour the people who defended Canada from within Canada for the period from 1946 to 1989. As such, it is intended to be awarded to individuals who served in the regular and reserve forces, police forces, emergency measures organizations, as well as civil organizations, such as St. John Ambulance, all of whom were concerned with the protection of Canada from the threat posed by the countries behind the Iron Curtain. This medal will recognize the support of the men and woman who gave countless hours to Canadians as they trained and prepared in case of an attack on Canadian soil, which fortunately never took place. Their service to our country came at a time when we became aware of how fragile peace can be and how vulnerable we may become to advances in weapons of warfare. This medal would give something back to all those who worked in those years to keep us safe and prepared. I thank my colleague from Thunder Bay—Rainy River (John Rafferty) for his continued support on this bill and for seconding this item for a second time.” Caveat: most Private Members Bills do not end up becoming law. Discussion at Army.ca here.
Written by milnewsca
24 November 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 2011, Adam Lewis, Afghan interpreters, Afghanistan, An Act respecting the establishment and award of a Defence of Canada Medal (1946-1989), Armenia, AT-6 Texan II, C-354, CAE, Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan - Quarterly Report to Parliament for the Period of April 1 to June 30, Carol Hughes, CMC Esterline, Cold Lake, Darfur, Defence of Canada Medal, Embraer, F-35, Hawker Beechcraft, House of Commons, John Rafferty, Joint Strike Fighter, Julian Fantino, Kalin Stacey, Kandahar Airfield, L-3 Wescam, Mark Collins, Matthew Perra, military news, milnews.ca, NATO, Operation Saturn, Oral Questions, Peter MacKay, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Primrose, PT6A-68D, Question Period, rabble.ca, Reporters? News outlets? Are you listening about sharing ATIP'ed documents? Private Member’s Bill, Rex Murphy, Sayed Shah Sharifi, Super Tucano, Tactical Airlift Unit, Tactical Control Radar Modernization, Task Force Canuck, Terry Glavin, Ulirch Krings
- 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
- Honkin’ Big Ship (HBS) contracts awarded: “…. The combat package includes the Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic Offshore Patrol ships and the Canadian Surface Combatants ships. The non-combat package includes the Navy’s joint support ships, the Canadian Coast Guard’s off-shore science vessels and the new polar icebreaker. Small ship construction (116 vessels), an estimated value of $2 billion, will be set aside for competitive procurement amongst Canadian shipyards other than the yards selected to build large vessels. Regular maintenance and repair, valued at $500 million annually, will be open to all shipyards through normal procurement processes. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. has been selected to build the combat vessel work package (21 vessels), and Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. has been selected to build the non-combat vessel work package (7 vessels). The total value of both packages is $33 billion and will span 20 to 30 years ….” More in the government backgrounder here.
- Media coverage of HBS contracts: QMI/Sun Media, Victoria Times-Colonist, Vancouver Sun, CBC.ca, Globe & Mail, CTV.ca, Charlottetown Guardian, Toronto Star, Reuters and canadianbusines.com.
- HBS editorial from the National Post: “…. The Tories are to be congratulated for devising a tamper-proof, corruption-free, unbiased system for awarding such large contracts. We realize that they originally built this process in large part as a means to cover themselves from the political fallout of hard, unpopular contracting decisions. Nevertheless, they are to be congratulated for sticking with it to the end, despite the potentially controversial result in this case ….”
- A more “glass is half empty” HBS opinion. “The denouement of the great multi-billion-dollar shipbuilding bonanza has left almost everyone popping Champagne corks —except perhaps Quebec, and the poor, bloody taxpayer who will end up footing the bill for the inevitable cost overruns and delays that will result from the government’s made-in-Canada national strategy ….”
- More HBS commentary: “…. It’s almost a no-win situation for the government. Still, the only way to prevent this from becoming the Harper government’s CF-18 moment is for them to hew scrupulously to their technocratic bid process.”
- More HBS analysis: “…. Despite efforts taken to eliminate appearances of partisan interference, it continues to swirl around the billions of dollars in contracts. “Whatever the outcome, the decision is likely to unleash a firestorm,” said Christian Leuprecht from the Queen’s University Centre for International and Defence Policy. “There are no obvious pork-barrel political choices here,” he said, noting the ridings around the Halifax shipyard are all NDP, as are those around the Vancouver shipyard — although some of the neighbouring ridings went Conservative — and around the Davie Shipyard in Quebec City. “If you’re trying to prop up Canada’s industrial heartland, Ontario and Quebec, which has been hurting pretty bad economically and where the Conservatives would be likely to get the most political bang for their buck in terms of votes, the core bid would go to the Davie shipyard.” ….”
- What (else is) Canada Buying? “Sleds, self-propelled” for Shilo, Petawawa – more technical details in excerpt from bid document (11 page PDF) here.
- Libya Mission Canada’s Sea Kings busy over the Med (via CEFCOM Info-Machine)
- Afghanistan Canadians take part in German Unity Day parade in northern Afghanistan (via Regional Support Command-North/NTM-A Info-Machine)
- “Canadian federal officials will participate in an annual crisis management exercise organized by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from October 19 to 26, 2011. Canada’s part in the international exercise will be played from government offices in Ottawa and linked to Canada’s NATO delegation. Crisis Management Exercise 2011 (CMX 11) provides an international forum to test, evaluate and improve coordination, intelligence and information sharing amongst federal departments and agencies with NATO Allies. It will ensure that we work effectively with our international partners to respond to emergencies in Canada or abroad. …. This exercise will involve civilian and military officials from all 28 NATO member nations, NATO Headquarters and NATO Strategic Commands, as well as participants from Sweden and Finland. Lessons learned from the exercise will enhance Canada’s ability to work together with Allies to confront threats of all kinds ….”
- Stuart Landridge, R.I.P. (1) “A public hearing into the suicide of Edmonton-based soldier Cpl. Stuart Langridge will start in Ottawa on Feb. 27. Langridge hanged himself in March 2008 following several earlier suicide attempts. The young soldier suffered from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and struggled with substance abuse after he returned from a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2005. The Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) announced last month that a hearing would be held. The date was set on Wednesday. The hearing comes after Langridge’s parents filed a formal complaint with the commission. Sheila and Shaun Fynes allege the probe conducted by the Canadian Forces National Investigations Service was not impartial or independent, and aimed to absolve the military of any responsibility for their son’s death ….”
- Stuart Landridge, R.I.P. (2) Family seeking help from CF for lawyers to represent them – more here.
- Ooopsie…. “Some Canadian soldiers are feeling a little unappreciated after home improvement retail giant Lowe’s announced it would pull its discount program it said was offered by mistake – the discount program was only intended for U.S. military members. The U.S.-based company had offered the 10% discount since 2008 to members of the Canadian Armed Forces at four stores – two in Ottawa, one in Kingston, Ont., and one in Belleville, near CFB Trenton. The company said the program was never intended for Canada and just recently realized its error. “I’m not able to get into the specifics of our (Lowe’s) systems and processes, but it (the discount) was a combination of misunderstanding and miscommunication that unfortunately went undetected until now,” Joanne Elson, corporate communications manager with Lowe’s Canada, said Wednesday ….”
- Mark Collins’ impressions of testimony on organization of the CF at a recent Senate Standing Committee hearing.
- More back and forth in the House of Commons on east coast search and rescue. “Mr. Ryan Cleary (St. John’s South—Mount Pearl, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Canada has one of the worst search and rescue response times in the world. A recent incident off Bell Island, Newfoundland showed just how bad it was. After emergency flares were fired in the area, the Coast Guard called in a provincial ferry, full of passengers, to help the search and rescue effort. It then took the Canadian Coast Guard vessel over three hours to arrive on the scene. This is not about a limo service from a fishing lodge; this is about human lives. How long would the minister be prepared to wait in icy water before being rescued? Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows full well that the search and rescue system is made up of a network of potential responders that includes the Coast Guard, the Coast Guard auxiliary, the Canadian Forces and any vessel of opportunity. Any vessel within the vicinity of a search and rescue call can be asked to assist. When the flares are discharged, the CCG will treat it as a matter of distress. If the member would like to be constructive, he would help us to take this message back to the public so that lives are not put at unnecessary risk.”
- Tory MP Tilly O’Neill Gordon (Miramichi) salutes women in the CF in the House of Commons. “October is Women’s History Month in Canada. This year’s theme, Women in Canadian Military Forces: A Proud Legacy, highlights the important contributions of women to the Canadian military forces throughout Canada’s history. It is an ideal time to learn about the work of outstanding women who serve and protect Canada and Canadians through key roles in the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Women such as Elizabeth Gregory MacGill, the first woman aircraft designer in the world, Josée Kurtz, the first woman to command a warship, and Marie Louise Fish, the first woman to serve as a naval officer at sea, are inspiring leaders. Their milestone achievements helped pave the way for women in the Canadian military. On behalf of all Canadians, we thank them for being an important part of our national military history.”
- A Conservative MP presents a nuclear disarmament petition in the House. “Canadians are well aware of the destructive power of nuclear weapons, a power that the world’s worst dictators and terrorists are trying to acquire. I would like to present to the House a petition from the Oakville chapter of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The petition is signed by 330 residents of Oakville. The petitioners ask the government to commit to the motion passed by the House on December 7, 2010, regarding the global disarmament of nuclear weapons. I am happy to present this petition for a response from our government.” The text of the December 2010 motion: “By unanimous consent, it was resolved, — That the House of Commons: (a) recognize the danger posed by the proliferation of nuclear materials and technology to peace and security; (b) endorse the statement, signed by 500 members, officers and companions of the Order of Canada, underlining the importance of addressing the challenge of more intense nuclear proliferation and the progress of and opportunity for nuclear disarmament; (c) endorse the 2008 five-point plan for nuclear disarmament of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and encourage the Government of Canada to engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention as proposed by the United Nations Secretary-General; (d) support the initiatives for nuclear disarmament of President Obama of the United States of America; and (e) commend the decision of the Government of Canada to participate in the landmark Nuclear Security Summit and encourage the Government of Canada to deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament.”
- Letter to the editor: let’s not forget the Aboriginal contribution to the War of 1812. “Canadians are unaware of the full import of the role of First Nations and the pivotal role the War of 1812 played in the history of Canada’s treatment of aboriginal peoples. Many historians believe that Britain would have lost the war without the aboriginal military strength. Canada’s very existence depended on First Nations co-operation …. Native leaders like Tecumseh hoped for an alliance with Britain to help prevent the elimination of First Nations at the hands of the U.S. The British proclamation of 1763 had meant recognition and accommodation of aboriginal peoples by Britain. First Nations were military allies against the Americans ….”
Written by milnewsca
20 October 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Afghanistan, AOPS, Arctic Offshore Patrol ships, Bell Island, Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Forces National Investigations Service, Canadian Surface Combatants ships, CFB Petawawa, CFB Shilo, CFNIS, Christian Leuprecht, CMX 11, Crisis Management Exercise 2011, Davie shipyard, DFO, Elizabeth Gregory MacGill, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Irving Shipbuilding, joint support ships, Josée Kurtz, JSS, Keith Ashfield, Libya, Libyan unrest, Lowe's, Marie Louise Fish, Mark Collins, military news, Military Police Complaints Commission, milnews.ca, MPCC, National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, NATO, NATO Headquarters, NATO Strategic Commands, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NTM-A, Odyssey Dawn, off-shore science vessels, Operation Mobile, polar icebreaker, Regional Support Command-North, Ryan Cleary, search and rescue, Shaun Fynes, Sheila Fynes, Stuart Landridge, Task Force Libeccio, Tecumseh, Tilly O'Neill Gordon, Unified Protector, Vancouver Shipyards, War of 1812, Women's History Month
- We have a border security deal (reportedly)! “A much-ballyhooed perimeter security deal between Canada and the United States will come with a $1-billion price tag for new border facilities and programs to make trade and travel easier, The Canadian Press has learned. The Conservative government will use money cut from existing programs to cover the hefty cost of the international pact — an attempt to protect the continent from terrorist threats while speeding the flow of people and products across the 49th parallel. The deal, as described by several sources, is more evolutionary than revolutionary, falling short of the grand vision outlined with fanfare eight months ago when Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama announced negotiations ….” More here.
- Libya Mission Latest ROTO takes first flight downrange. “The CP 140 Aurora aircraft continued to add to an impressive list of firsts, flying its first mission over Libya and its first strike coordination and armed reconnaissance-coordinator (SCAR-C) mission during Operation MOBILE. On 22 September 2011, crew from 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 14 Wing Greenwood, flew its first intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission over Libyan soil ….” (via CEFCOM Info-Machine)
- “NATO defense ministers are exploring ways Wednesday of ending the alliance’s aerial campaign in Libya and training Afghan security forces for a larger role in their country’s war. In a speech before the meeting, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged NATO member states to cooperate more closely and pool their resources in order to make up for the shortfalls that have plagued the alliance’s operations in Libya and Afghanistan. “It would be a tragic outcome if the alliance shed the very capabilities that allowed it to successfully conduct these operations,” said Panetta, who is making his first visit to Europe after taking over from Robert Gates as Pentagon chief in July. European members and Canada provided most of the strike aircraft used in the Libya campaign. But the war exposed shortages in their capabilities in strategic transport, aerial surveillance, air refueling, and unmanned drones, most of which had to be supplied by the U.S. ….” More on the U.S. poking allies to crank up the military capabilities here.
- Afghanistan (1) Poking the Defence Minister in Question Period – again – on (based on a book that’s not out yet) being out of the loop on Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan (2) Canada fighting the fight (against polio) in Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan (3) Editorial: “Part of the rationale for military intervention in Afghanistan was the deplorable state of women’s rights, and the need to free women from the gender apartheid practised by the Taliban. This was a country where women could not have direct contact with men after the age of eight, could not go to school or work outside the home, visit public baths to stay clean, wear nail polish, high heels or be seen in public without a burqa, or a male relative. As the 10th anniversary of the military invasion approaches on Oct. 7, the hard-won gains that women have made over the past decade must be safeguarded. They cannot be sacrificed for the larger goal of ending Afghanistan’s protracted conflict ….”
- Provincial politicians use CF search & rescue as provincial campaign lighting rod. “Newfoundland nd Labrador’s premier and the opposition leader say search and rescue services provided by the federal government must be investigated to see if improvements are necessary. Progressive Conservative Leader Kathy Dunderdale said a recent episode of CBC’s The Fifth Estate on search and rescue has left her with concerns about the military’s service. “It is not satisfactory to the people of this province, to the people who earn their living on the sea, to be at further risk because of a slow response time or policies that affect response time in marine search and rescue,” she said. Dunderdale said she plans to vigorously pursue the issue of search and rescue with the federal government. Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward agreed and went further, calling for a full inquiry into federal search and rescue services. Both Aylward and Dunderdale are campaigning in preparation for the provincial election on Oct. 11 ….”
- Wounded Warriors, Mental Health & Suicide (1) “For decades, the issue of suicide in active soldiers and retired veterans was something that no one wanted to talk about. But a number of programs both within and outside the military are finally focusing attention on the issue. How big a problem is suicide in Canada’s military? It’s difficult to say. The Canadian Forces reports that the suicide rate among currently active soldiers is actually lower than that of the general public. But once many of those soldiers are released from the military, research shows their suicide risk can rise to higher levels than that of civilians. Assessing the toll can be difficult, because beyond the clear-cut suicides are the more subtle instances in which soldiers end their own lives. A veteran who drinks heavily to dull mental pain might be engaging in a slow form of suicide. A soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder and anger issues might take reckless risks if he’s lost his will to live. And how about the veteran with depression who ends up homeless and dies far too young? None of these deaths would register on the books as a suicide, but all might well be traced back to the soldier’s time in service ….”
- Wounded Warriors, Mental Health & Suicide (2) From Question Period (QP): “Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of National Defence and I, along with others, attended a conference put on by the military called “Caring for our Own”. One of the concerns raised by some of the soldiers was the fear that the military would not be there for them in their hour of need. Specific worries included PTSD, suicide ideation and suicide itself. The next budget will be under severe pressure for cutting these “soft services”. Could the minister give the House assurances that our vulnerable soldiers and their families will be protected from these budgetary pressures? Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my colleague is correct. My friend was in attendance, along with many members who are specifically tasked with how we deal with the scourge of post-traumatic stress and many of the challenges related to overseas deployments. I am very pleased to report that Canada has in fact become a world leader in fighting the stigmatization and raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and other operational stress injuries. As well, we have increased mental health awareness and we have increased the number of mental health professionals who are dealing specifically with these challenges.”
- Wounded Warriors, Mental Health & Suicide (3) More from QP: “Mr. Sean Casey (Charlottetown, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is a great need to enhance suicide prevention programs in Canada. With respect to our veterans, the data is alarming. The suicide rate in the armed services is nearly three times that of the general population. According to a departmental study of all males who enrolled in the regular forces after 1972 and were released before 2007, a total of 2,620 died and almost 700 of them were suicides. Could the minister outline new steps or strategies that his department is undertaking to tackle this crisis among veterans? Hon. Steven Blaney (Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his important question. While mental health was taboo then, it is a priority for our government now. That is why we have established, in conjunction with the Department of National Defence, 17 operational stress injury clinics that provide services to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress across the country and at various levels that they might experience. This approach is working. As of June, Veterans Affairs Canada is helping more than 14,300 veterans with mental health conditions and their families ….”
- New fur hats for the troops (and the animal rights activists are unhappy). “The Department of National Defence has decided to add fur to the winter gear of the Canadian Forces, a move that’s getting a frosty reception from animal-rights advocates. The government says fur is part of Canada’s heritage and the winter tuque currently in use doesn’t stand up to the rigours of the Canadian winter. So it’s buying an initial run of 1,000 fur-trimmed caps at a cost of $65,000, for use by guards of honour and Canadian Forces starting this winter …. “There are synthetics that are just as good and that don’t necessitate the killing of animals,” Elizabeth Sharpe of the World Society for the Protection of Animals said from Toronto. “Killing animals for their fur is completely unnecessary and cruel.” Lesley Fox of the British Columbia-based Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals says muskrats are known to chew off their limbs to free themselves from leg-hold traps ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) Defence Minister Peter MacKay, facing questions from the NDP on the upcoming F-35 buy: “These aircraft, as the House will know, will replace our aging CF-18 fleet of fighter jets. These aircraft, like other aircraft, have served our country extremely well. They are used in Libya today. They have been used in previous missions, but that they aging. As a matter of course we are taking the responsible step of following a procurement process that has been in place for a significant period of time in which a number of countries are participating …. We committed $9 billion for the replacement of the CF-18. In fact, it not only includes the cost of the aircraft, this will include: spares, weapons systems, infrastructure and training simulators as well as the contingency associated with this important procurement. We are purchasing the most cost-effective variant at the prime of peak production when the costs will be at their lowest. Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer has admitted to that. Why are the NDP members constantly against getting the best equipment for the best forces in the world?”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) The latest from the Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino: “An overall $9 billion cost estimate is more honest than relying on individual plane costs, says the minister handling the purchase of Canada’s new fighter jets. Despite a promise by manufacturer Lockheed Martin that Canada will get its F-35 fighter jets at a cost of $65 million each, Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, says the government’s overall $9 billion estimate is the more honest number. The cost of the F-35 depends on the number of planes ordered by other countries, as well as on how early Canada wants to get its order. The manufacturing cost goes down as more planes come off the assembly line, with Canada expecting the U.S. to absorb the bulk of the F-35′s development costs. “There are just so many variables, and that’s why I think the more honest, ethical response to all these issues is the $9 billion figure, which in fact will be the ceiling that Canada will be investing in these particular aircraft,” Fantino told Evan Solomon, host of CBC’s Power & Politics ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? Someone to make fake explosives to test detection equipment (more in Statement of Work – 4 page PDF – here), upgrading the range at CFB Valcartier, someone to manage Canada’s presence at the Farnborough Air Show, and CADPAT rank slip-ons.
- Canada’s top military cop to chair NATO committee. “The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM), Colonel Tim Grubb assumed the post of Chairman of the NATO Nations Military Police (MP) Chiefs’ Committee at a brief ceremony last week in Prague, Czech Republic. The ceremony concluded the committee’s annual meeting …. Colonel Grubb has been the CFPM since 2009 and during his tenure has overseen significant transformation in the Canadian Forces Military Police organization ….”
- “The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre engaged in some diplomacy of its own recently when its leaders invited ambassadors and military attachés to its Carleton University headquarters to update them on its activities. Michael Snell, project manager for the centre, told the group of about 30 diplomats about the work the centre has been doing with the 10 training centres that compose the Association of Latin America Peacekeeping Centres. The centre’s three causes, Snell said, are: women and peacekeeping; supporting new training centres; and enhancing police participation in UN missions from Latin America ….”
- How some of the Americans are doing the War of 1812 anniversary. “Out of the murk of history and the trough of government funding, here comes the War of 1812 again, 200 years old and as ambiguous as ever on both sides of the Canada-U.S. frontier. “The festivities reach a crescendo!” trumpets the Maryland Bicentennial Commission, as if three years of bombarding, cannonading, spearing, shooting, scalping, burning, sinking, drowning, pillaging, invading, retreating, ambushing, marching, fleeing, starving, freezing, and occupying had been a holiday for all concerned. Undeterred by the carnage – after all, the war didn’t kill THAT many guys, compared to, like, Gettysburg or Hitler or whatever – we are going to have “a Star-Spangled tribute to the defense of America” down here, a display at the U.S. Naval Academy of “the British flag captured at Fort York (Toronto),” plus “a week-long maritime event to kick off the bicentennial celebration.” In other words, there are going to be a lot of people in pantaloons hoisting mainsails and firing muskets before this thing is put away for another century ….”
Written by milnewsca
5 October 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 14 Wing Greenwood, 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron, Afghanistan, Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, Barack Obama, Canadian Forces Provost Marshal, Caring for our Own, CF-18, CF-188 Hornet, CFB Valcartier, CFPM, CP-140 Aurora, Elizabeth Sharpe, F-35, Farnborough Air Show, Fort York, John McKay, Joint Strike Fighter, JSF, Julian Fantino, Kathy Dunderdale, Kevin Aylward, Leon Panetta, Lesley Fox, Libya, Libyan unrest, Michael Snell, military news, milnews.ca, NATO, NATO Nations Military Police (MP) Chiefs’ Committee, Newfoundland, Odyssey Dawn, Operation Mobile, operational stress injuries, operational stress injury clinics, OSI, Parliamentary Budget Officer, Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, perimeter security, Peter MacKay, polio, post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, Robert Gates, SCAR-C, Sean Casey, search and rescue, Stephen Harper, Steven Blaney, strike coordination and armed reconnaissance-coordinator, suicide, suicide prevention programs, taliban, Task Force Libeccio, Tim Grubb, Unified Protector, Veterans Affairs Canada, War of 1812, women’s rights in Afghanistan, World Society for the Protection of Animals, Yukon fur hats
- Libya Mission (1a) PM: We’re not there forever, folks. “Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not sure how long Canada’s military needs to remain in Libya, but he said Tuesday that he doesn’t anticipate an “indefinite” mission in the North African country. “This is the beginning of the end of the (Moammar) Gadhafi regime,” Harper told reporters after launching a tour of Canada’s Arctic region. “I don’t say it is the end. I think we saw last night a couple of surprises. We anticipate it will be at least a few days for the process of a regime change to actually take place.” Harper said Canada is sitting down with its allies to determine pressing needs for the country in the days to come ….”
- Libya Mission (1b) PM: We’re not there for too much longer, folks. “Stephen Harper says the mounting success of rebel forces battling Moammar Gadhafi’s regime means Canada’s military mission to Libya could end in the near future – but the Prime Minister cautions the North African country will need international help for some time to come. “We anticipate it will be at least a few days for the process of regime change to actually take place so obviously our military will remain there through this period, respond there accordingly during this period and in the days to follow,” Mr. Harper told reporters who accompanied him to the Arctic. “Our anticipation is that the military mission will obviously not be indefinite, that it will terminate some time in the not-too-distant future. But we will first make sure the job is actually finished before that occurs.” ….” More from the Toronto Star here.
- Libya (1c) Recycling an old script – where “Afghanistan”, read “Libya”. “…. NATO has said any post-Gadhafi mission would not involve ground forces, would be secondary to an effort led by the U.N., and would only take place in response to an official request. Col. Roland Lavoie, military spokesman for Operation Unified Protector, says NATO must stay involved in Libya as long as Gadhafi is in power. “There’s nobody who could predict when exactly the Gadhafi forces will drop their weapons,” said Lavoie during a briefing in Brussels. “They will do so probably when there will be a political settlement to their conflicts.” Harper added Canada may need to play a post-Gadhafi role in Libya. “This country needs a whole range of assistance — all the way from monetary assistance to capacity building,” he said. “We stand ready to help any way we can. I don’t think, to be frank, it’s been decided yet who will do what, but the entire international community is prepared to help and see a peaceful transition here.” ….”
- Libya Mission (2) “Stephen Harper’s new brand of Canadian foreign policy – one that chooses sides over sidelines and replaces peacekeeper with “courageous warrior” – is poised to have its clearest illustration yet as Libyan rebels celebrate the beginning of the end of the Gadhafi regime. Support at the United Nations for military intervention, a quick decision to approve Canadian Forces bombing raids and the move to expel Libyan diplomats while the status of the North African nation remained uncertain gave observers a chance to see a very different Canada on display. “This is a significant shift in Canadian foreign policy,” said Queen’s University professor Christian Leuprecht, a fellow with the school’s Centre for International and Defence Policy. “In the past, our objectives really in foreign policy have been defined by international stability and open trade routes. And what we see in Libya, previous governments very likely would have sat out.” ….”
- Libya Mission (3) Globe & Mail editorial: “…. By the skin of their teeth, Canada and the other Operation Unified Protector countries have managed to avoid a long war of attrition. All’s reasonably well that ends fairly well. But, next time, the implications of the responsibility to protect civilians should be thought through more carefully.”
- A Canadian company is helping Libyan rebels, one micro UAV at a time (company news release also available here (PDF) if link doesn’t work). “While NATO countries fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) high above Libya, none of these UAVs, or the vital intelligence they provide, was available to the Libyans fighting to free their country – they were fighting blind. So, they got one of their own. It can now be disclosed that the Libyan rebels have been using the Aeryon Scout Micro UAV to acquire intelligence on enemy positions and to coordinate their resistance efforts. Representatives from the Transitional National Council (TNC) were looking for an imagery solution to provide to the troops on the ground. They evaluated a series of micro UAVs and chose the Aeryon Scout – and they needed it delivered immediately to those fighting at the front. Large UAVs are often flown far away from the frontline – often overseas – making it difficult to get the imagery to troops in combat. With the Aeryon Scout, the operator has direct control over the UAV and is able to see imagery in real-time ….” More from the Globe & Mail, Wired.com’s Danger Room blog and the Financial Post on this, as well as a link to a British media article on the hardware from May of this year (8th bullet). (Hat tip to Mark Collins for sharing this one).
- Way Up North (1) “A simulated major air crash was only hours away when word came to soldiers, coast guard personnel and RCMP that they were faced with the real thing in remote Resolute. Saturday’s deadly crash of a chartered Boeing 737 barely a kilometre from the High Arctic hamlet’s windswept airport came smack in the middle of the largest Arctic military exercise ever conducted by the Canadian Forces. The final phase of Operation Nanook was to designed to simulate a mid-air collision between a small bush plane and cargo plane, the “signature piece” of the three-week exercise, according to a government official. The Canadian Forces had even positioned the wreckage of a long-ago crash on a plateau above the village of 250 people. Officers were sitting down to lunch in the mess on Saturday when someone burst in to report a jetliner was down. Lieutenant-commander Albert Wong, the senior public affairs officer for Op Nanook, said he sat for a brief moment in stunned disbelief. “Someone said, ‘No duff’ — which is military code for, this is real,” Wong told reporters who arrived Tuesday with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “All of us started running to our posts.” ….” More from the Globe & Mail here.
- Way Up North (2) “Deployment of full emergency resources across Canada’s North is impossible, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday after meeting with rescue workers who responded to a fatal plane crash last weekend. “Part of the drill here is how quickly things can be moved up and deployed from the south as well,” said Harper, who is on his sixth annual summer tour of the region. “We have to be realistic. There is no possible way in the vastness of the Canadian Arctic we could ever have all of the resources necessary close by. It’s just impossible.” ….” More on this from the Toronto Star here.
- Way Up North (3) “…. If sovereignty is about responsibility, that means Canada as a whole has a duty to understand the needs of the North, to make sure a child born there has access to education, health care and basic, appropriate infrastructure. In a less tangible, cultural sense, sovereignty means that the North belongs to all Canadians, and with ownership comes pride and engagement.”
- Way Up North (4) One academic’s view: “…. the Canadian military is perfectly content to play around in the Arctic just as long as the money taps stay open and they can utilize their training there for other “hot spots” around the world. And if this is the case, you can look for the CF. to deepen its military footprint in the Arctic going forward.”
- Canada’s defence minister Peter MacKay met with his British counterpart Liam Fox in England this week – this from the UK MoD’s Info-Machine: “Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox welcomed the Canadian Defence Minister, the Honourable Peter MacKay, to London yesterday with a ceremonial guard formed by members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. Defence Reform, Libya, Afghanistan and NATO were among the main topics discussed and both Defence Ministers agreed on the importance of the enduring bilateral relationship between their two countries ….” Nothing yet on the DND/CF web page on the meeting.
- A former Aussie officer makes the case for the Australian PM to stop attending every funeral of a fallen soldier, looking at how Canada does things. “…. The full glare of the parliamentary press gallery will blaze as military colleagues say final goodbyes. Because, by convention, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott will take no other media appearances that day, the military funeral will become the only vision TV networks have of our political leaders. By virtue of the politicians’ attendance, a private funeral will become a nationally televised political event. For the next two weeks, when Australians think about the war in Afghanistan they will think of the only military event important enough to unite political and Defence leaders — the death of another young soldier. AusAID’s development progress won’t be in their minds, nor will the pressure on the Taliban being applied by our special forces. If form is any guide, media networks will run polls on our involvement in Afghanistan right at the time when coverage is dominated by terrible news. Australians, when asked what our Afghan strategy should be, will make an emotional decision framed by a military funeral ….”
- Those wild, wacky funsters over at the International Committee of the Fourth International on Canada’s NDP has helped fuel “imperialist war” from Yugoslavia to Haiti, and from Kandahar to Libya. Not the first time the NDP’s been accused of supporting the troops too much for the far left wing’s fancy.
Written by milnewsca
24 August 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Aeryon, Aeryon Scout Micro UAV, Afghanistan, Christian Leuprecht, Haiti, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, International Committee of the Fourth International, Jack Layton, Julia Gillard, Kandahar, Liam Fox, Libya, Libyan unrest, Mark Collins, military news, milnews.ca, NATO, NDP, Odyssey Dawn, Operation Mobile, Operation Nanook, Peter MacKay, Roland Lavoie, Stephen Harper, Task Force Libeccio, Tony Abbott, Unified Protector, World Socialist Web Site
- Report leaked to QMI: CF way too top heavy. “The Department of Defence and the Canadian Forces are top heavy with too many civilian bosses in Ottawa and need to shift resources to the front lines, according to a secret defence report. Between 2004 and 2010, civilian hires at DND and the CF outpaced hires in the regular forces three to one, and while the number of sailors fell, staff at DND/CF headquarters in Ottawa ballooned by 38%. But the government says those hires were necessary to backfill positions left vacant by Canada’s heavy involvement in Afghanistan, “so that military members could focus their efforts on operational matters,” wrote Jay Paxton, a spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay, in an e-mail Thursday. The transformation report, authored by Gen. Andrew Leslie, was submitted in early July but has yet to be released publicly. QMI Agency obtained a copy from a military source ….” No word on sharing the report with anyone who wants to read it themselves.
- Report leaked to Globe & Mail: CF way too top heavy. “National Defence must take an axe to its bloated headquarters by dismissing or reassigning thousands of workers if the military is to meet its future obligations, concludes a landmark report charged with transforming the Canadian Forces. This scathing assessment by Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie, who commanded the Canadian army during the Afghanistan war, arrives at a pivotal moment for the military, as the army returns from its troubled mission in Kandahar, the navy and air force seek new ships and aircraft, and the Conservative government vows to eliminate the federal deficit in a gloomy economy. “If we are serious about the future – and we must be – the impact of reallocating thousands of people and billions of dollars from what they are doing now to what we want them to do …will require some dramatic changes,” Gen. Leslie writes in Report on Transformation 2011. A copy of the report has been obtained by The Globe and Mail ….” No word on sharing the report with anyone who wants to read it themselves.
- Libya Mission (1) More on HMCS Vancouver replacing HMCS Charlottetown from the CF Info-Machine.
- Libya Mission (2) More on Canadian boss reorg in Italy (via CF Info-Machine)
- Way Up North (1) “Peter Mackay, Canada’s defence minister, who arrived in Resolute Bay in the early hours of Aug. 18, made the most of his day-long visit to observe Operation Nanook, the Canadian Forces’ military exercise, shoring up support from every direction for his department’s increased visibility in Nunavut and the North. Mackay even managed to cram in a dive from an iceberg lodged in the bay outside Resolute with divers who have been learning how to work around icebergs. That, said Mackay, who donned a dry suit and full divers gear, was “disorienting,” but “incredible” as light shone through the iceberg into the water ….”
- Way Up North (2) CF Info-Machine coverage of Operation Nanook: “Operation Nanook is well underway with Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft and personnel providing valuable airlift during this major national and international operation. A combined Naval Task Group set sail from St. John’s, N.L. on Aug. 5, towards Canada’s Eastern and High Arctic, where other personnel and equipment from the Canadian Army, RCAF, and Canadian Rangers converged for the month-long, annual Arctic sovereignty exercise. In addition to the Canadian Forces, simulated major air disaster and maritime emergency scenarios involve the Canadian Coast Guard, Transportation Safety Board, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Public Safety Canada as well as the Government of Nunavut, the community of Resolute Bay and our private sector partners. Op Nanook, named for the Inuit word for polar bear, is the centerpiece of three annual northern sovereignty operations conducted by the Canadian Forces and its partners who share interest in Canada’s North ….” More on Op NANOOK at the Canada Command page here.
- Way Up North (3) “A senior Canadian Army officer – Lt.-Gen. Walter Semianiw – is to travel to Moscow and other northern European capitals this fall for discussions about the Arctic. This development mocks the ludicrous media hype suggesting that there is a bitter rivalry involving Canada, Russia, the United States and Denmark (Greenland) over their sometimes competing claims and interests in the Arctic. To be sure, there are differences of opinion about the top of the world. But the reality is there is actually far more co-operation than there is friction. “This is beyond search and rescue,” the chief of Canada Command told me in a recent interview upon his European travel plans. “We are going to be talking about military co-operation in the North.” Officials from Russia and other Arctic Council countries will “table top” an international search-andrescue exercise in the Yukon in October. At this moment, Canadian and Danish warships and U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers are working together in Arctic waters after some of the vessels paid a courtesy call on a Greenlandic port. U.S. Coast Guard divers are on an exercise with Canadians on Cornwallis Island ….”
- Afghanistan (1) Canada’s air contingent in Afghanistan basically shuts down, after a very busy few years – these stats from the CF on how busy the planes and crews were since December 2008: More from QMI’s David Akin here, and ipolitics.ca here.
- Afghanistan (2) How Canadian air force folks are helping create an Afghan air force (via CF Info-Machine). “Kabul International Airport covers a vast area on the north side of the city. The sprawling complex includes civilian and military air terminals, air cargo centres, and International Security Assistance Force facilities. One military unit located on the airport grounds represents the future of the Afghan Air Force. The Afghan Air Training School (or Pohantoon e Hawayee, which means Big Air School) is where new members of the Afghan Air Force learn the basics of flying and maintaining aircraft and running an air unit. They also participate in literacy training, which is incorporated into nearly every course conducted by the Afghan national security forces. Ten advisors from Canada’s Air Force serve at the training school as part of the Canadian Forces contribution to the NATO training mission in Afghanistan. The Canadian staff are part of 738 Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron (738 AEAS), a NATO unit assigned to advise the the (school’s) Afghan commander and his senior staff ….”
- “The sacrifices made by members of the Canadian military and their families are being honoured with 26 bronze commemorative plaques that will be placed at intervals along the Highway of Heroes, which runs from Trenton, Ont., to Toronto. Announcement of the plaques took place Thursday in Toronto and was observed by at least 100 people, including Canadian soldiers, their families, parliamentarians and corporate sponsors. Each plaque is sponsored by a company, whose logo is visible below the image depicted on the plaque. Money raised through the sponsorship goes toward helping military families send children to summer camps, provide psychological counseling, retrofit homes and vehicles for soldiers returning with injuries or amputations and rehabilitate soldiers through athletics. Creation of the plaque program is a joint effort between the provincial Ministry of Transportation and True Patriot Love, a national foundation created by civilians with the aim of fostering better understanding between Canadians, the military and its endeavours ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War Well, at least SOME of the U.S. Joint Strike Fighters are able to fly again. “The F-35 Lightning II test fleet has been cleared for flight, the Pentagon announced Thursday. An Air Force safety investigation board is continuing its investigation of the failure of the AF-4’s Integrated Power Package on Aug. 2, which led to the grounding of the entire fleet of 20 aircraft. The AF-4 is the fourth conventional takeoff and landing variant produced by Lockheed Martin. A government and contractor engineering team determined that flight operations of the test aircraft could continue after reviewing data from ground and flight tests, and revised the test monitoring procedures that govern the IPP. Ground operations of the test fleet resumed Aug. 10 ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? Here’s a taste of what happened at the Fixed Wing Search and Rescue industry day: “…. A full complement of the right ADM’s and DG’s from Industry, Public Works and DND turned out, and it was noteworthy that they stayed until the end of the day. In a procurement with this kind of history, little things can mean a lot, so government representatives handed out all their slide decks and notes in advance …. industry has until September 16 to get back to the government with its feedback, with a major focus on where the fixed-wing purchase can and should sit on a spectrum from full government ownership and ISS all the way through to full ASD, provided it still delivers the same ‘world-class’ capability as today. This does not appear to be the only interaction the Crown intends, as this briefing is being followed by individual one on one corporate briefings, with the promise of follow-up sessions once inputs have been received and digested ….”
- What’s Canada (Not) Buying? Canada reportedly pulling out of Global Hawk UAV project. “…. Canada has become the second country to withdraw from the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 alliance ground surveillance (AGS) program, but the remaining NATO partners are “very close” to signing a contract, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. The decision means AGS will lose another source of funding that must be compensated for by the 13 NATO members still committed …. Denmark also decided to withdraw from the partnership acquiring a six-aircraft RQ-4 fleet in June 2010. Meanwhile, Northrop and NATO officials are likely to sign a contract to launch the development phase of the AGS programme within several days. The contract award may still have to be approved by each of the national partners before it becomes official ….”
- “Two Canadian Forces members were listed on the National Sex Offender Registry, as of this spring, the Chief of the Defence Staff, has confirmed. “As of 11 May 2011, two Canadian Forces members were known to be subject to a SOIRA (Sex Offender Information Registration Act) order,” Gen. Walter Natynczyk said in a letter to Defence Minister Peter MacKay that was tabled in Parliament this week. Gen. Natynczyk said he has the power to temporarily exempt CF members from certain sex offender registry obligations, but noted he has never done so. Although a top government official told Huffington Post Canada the two members are still serving, Capt. Scott Costen, a Department of National Defence spokesman cautioned that administrative reviews, which are are launched after court martials or civilian criminal proceedings call into question the suitability of a member’s continued service, may be underway to release individuals from their military positions ….”
- Some Twitter updates from the boss of Canada’s Army. 1) Senior Canadian medic recognized by U.S. ”BGen Hilary Jaeger was awarded the US Meritorious Service Medal for her outstanding leadership and great contribution to ISAF mission.” 2) Change of assignment for senior Canadian officer working with U.S. forces. “Great visit III Corps and Fort Hood. Atkinson‘s were awesome ambassadors for Canada. Welcome Milner‘s” (more on the senior Canadian appointment switch-around from the Fort Hood base newspaper here)
- PM on Syria Time for the boss to go. “…. The Assad regime has lost all legitimacy by killing its own people to stay in power. I join with President Obama and other members of the international community in calling on President Assad to vacate his position, relinquish power and step down immediately. The Syrian people have a right to decide for themselves the next steps for Syria’s future ….” More from Postmedia News here and Agence France-Presse here.
- Lew-Mac on NATO: “…. (Historian Jack) Granatstein rightly points out that, “In diplomacy as in baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out. Afghanistan was strike one; Libya was strike two. And strike three?” he asks. I suggest strike three already happened in 1999 during NATO’s 50th birthday celebrations when it was frantically searching for a role and an enemy now that the Cold War was over. It found an out of area mission bombing Serbia and Kosovo in support of the Kosovo Liberation Army, at the time a terrorist movement according to the CIA. Seventy-nine days of bombing later, Serbian infrastructure was devastated but her security forces were still defiant and little damaged. Diplomacy took over and NATO capitulated on the two poison pills in the Rambouillet Agreement that “justified” the bombing campaign in the first place, that is to say, NATO freedom of movement throughout Serbia and a referendum on Kosovo independence within three years. As a result of this Russian-led diplomacy Serbian forces pulled out of Kosovo. NATO’s military mission had failed which in my book makes it three strikes in 12 years ….”
- MORE criminals (not just war criminals) on the CBSA “help us find these folks” web site – more from CTV.ca.
- Meanwhile, “Anyone defending foreign criminals remaining here are naively ignoring their potential threat or are driven by unknown motives, Canada’s public safety minister warned Thursday. Vic Toews said some Canadians “condemn our soldiers as war criminals,” but not foreigners evading deportation to face charges of crimes against humanity. On Sun News, he said such stances — including Amnesty International objecting to the government seeking public help to catch 30 suspected war criminals, plus the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) seeking killer Omar Khadr’s return — exhibit a “culture gap. “Don’t you people understand what is going on in the world … there are some bad people out there,” Toews told Ezra Levant, host of The Source ….”
- “Several Canadian cities will be receiving artifacts from Hangar 17 — a makeshift museum inside New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport that houses pieces from the 9/11 wreckage. Thousands of meticulously catalogued steel beams, crushed cars and fire trucks can be found inside the 80,000-square-foot hangar that’s rarely open to the public. Tom Doucette, executive director of The Military Museums in Calgary, said they will be receiving a 15-foot long piece of steel from one of the fallen World Trade Center towers that weighs just under 3,000 pounds ….”
- “Just as they did during active duty, the Olympus and Okanagan continue to slip silently along Canada’s waterways. These days, however, they’re not doing so unnoticed. After all, it’s difficult to miss the 1,250-tonne submarines that are taking a voyage from Halifax to Port Maitland – especially when they’re travelling above the water. Decommissioned by the Canadian Department of National Defense, the former submarines are being transported on floating drydocks towed by barges. At the end of the journey, they’ll meet their fate. The Oberon class submarines are scheduled to be scrapped by Port Colborne-based Marine Recycling Corp. at the company’s Port Maitland shipyard. Now it’s just a matter of getting them there ….”
Written by milnewsca
19 August 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 738 AEAS, 738 Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, 9-11 artifacts, 9/11 artifacts, ACE, Air Coordination Element, Air Expeditionary Wing, Alain Pelletier, Andrew Leslie, Canadian Rangers, CBSA, Charles Bouchard, Combined Joint Task Force Unified Protector, Dean Milner, Derek Joyce, F-35, Fixed Wing Search and Rescue, Fort Hood, FWSAR, Global Hawk, Highway of Heroes, Hilary Jaeger, HMCS Charlottetown, HMCS Okanagan, HMCS Olympus, HMCS Vancouver, III Corps, Jack Granatstein, Jay Paxton, Joint Strike Fighter, JTF-AFG Air Wing, Kosovo Liberation Army, Lewis MacKenzie, Libya, Libyan unrest, Lockheed Martin, Marine Recycling Corporation, Meritorious Service Medal, military news, milnews.ca, National Sex Offender Registry, NATO, Naval Task Group, Northrop Grumman, Operation Mobile, Operation Nanook, Operation Unified Protector, Paul Ormsby, Peter Atkinson, Peter MacKay, Rambouillet Agreement, Resolute Bay, RQ-4, Scott Costen, Syria, Task Force Libeccio, Task Force Naples, The Military Museums in Calgary, Tom Doucette, transformation, True Patriot Love, Vic Toews, Walter Natynczyk
- Libya Mission (1) “Forces loyal to Moamer Kadhafi are no longer able to launch a credible military offensive, NATO’s top Libya commander told AFP Thursday, as rebels look to gain momentum in overthrowing the strongman. “The Kadhafi regime’s forces continue to be weakened, both in strength and their will to fight,” Canada’s Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard said, speaking from his Italy headquarters, as rebel troops made new advances. “They are no longer able to launch a credible offensive,” he added ….”
- Libya Mission (2) Some blog-borne armchair quarterbacking. “You might have been distracted by the riots in Britain, or the faux-scandal over NDP interim Leader Nycole Turmel, or the credit crisis in the U.S., or your vacation, but Canada is still dropping bombs on Libya with no end to the conflict in sight. Kelly McParland of the National Post takes a second to remind us just how committed the Conservative government is to the mission, and in particular the rebel leadership group, the Transitional National Council. “Even though the outcome of the upheaval in Libya is anything but clear, Ottawa is putting all its eggs in the rebel basket,” for example by booting out Moammar Gadhafi’s envoys out of Canada, handing over their embassy and assets to the TNC, recognizing the TNC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, and providing financial assistance to the rebellion – and that’s not including the combat support the Canadian Forces have provided. “Caution does not appear to be a major element of the Harper government’s foreign policy,” says McParland in one of the bigger understatements of the year so far ….”
- Operation Jaguar, from the Jamaican media’s perspective. “The Canadian government has deployed three CH-146 Griffon tactical helicopters and 65 personnel to support the Jamaica Defence Force’s search and rescue team for the rest of the hurricane season. National Security Minister Dwight Nelson, who made the announcement yesterday, said the deployment followed a request by the Jamaican Government. Expressing his gratitude, the minister said the helicopters will shore up the capabilities of the JDF, while soldiers will benefit from training from the Canadian Forces. For his part, Canada’s Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay said his government was committed to ensuring that Canadian forces are ready to assist their allies on the world stage if and when the call comes. “The request from Jamaica addresses a specific capability gap in the Jamaica Defence Force, which currently does not have helicopters suitable for taskings such as search-and-rescue and medical evacuation flights,” said MacKay ….”
- Canadian Taxpayers Federation underwhelmed with CF buying promotional give-away items (how little is $50K out of a budget of ~$21 billion?) “The Canadian Forces spent close to $50,000 of taxpayers’ money last year on miniature cardboard fighter jets, according to documents obtained by QMI Agency through an access-to-information request. The CF-18 replicas are 23.5 cm long, made of recycled material and were used to promote the Air Force at public events, particularly to children. The documents reveal the special order for the planes cost taxpayers $47,449 dollars. Paper planes aren’t the Forces’ only promotion material. The Air Force alone has an annual marketing budget of $200,000 dollars. Air Force spokesperson Lisa Evong said the paper planes are popular with children and Air Force enthusiasts. “(The planes) are used to educate the public on the role and responsibilities of the Air Force,” she said. Half the fun, Evong explained, is assembling all the pieces to form the plane. Each plane costs about 29 cents, giving the Forces 158,000 to fly around …. The federal government doesn’t seem to have the right priorities, according to Gregory Thomas from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, an organization that advocates for low taxes and tight government spending of public funds. “It is not the role of government to use taxpayer money to do publicity, especially towards children,” he said. Thomas said public funds should go towards equipping soldiers with “quality, modern equipment.” “
- Afghanistan Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry? “As the international community quietly welcomes the news that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has decided not to seek re-election, his departure raises many questions about what the future holds for a country that has claimed so much of Canada’s time, money and lives over the last decade. Originally one of Karzai’s strongest international supporters, Canada has been walking a diplomatic tightrope in terms of its relationship with the Afghan president for several years. Plagued by corruption, patronage and opportunism, the Afghan government has, by many accounts, lost its legitimacy, especially since the 2009 presidential election, which was fraught with allegations of fraud ….”
- Congratulations Major General Vance (beware the huge photo on the page). “The (Conference of Defence Associations) Institute is pleased to announce that Major-General Jonathan Vance has been unanimously selected as the recipient of the Vimy Award for 2011. The award will be presented on Friday, 18 November at a mixed gala reception and dinner in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa …. The Vimy Award honours the bravery and sacrifices of the Canadian soldiers who were victorious at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. Fighting together for the first time, the battle won by the four divisions of the Canadian Corps brought global recognition to the nation’s arms and declared Canada a young nation entitled to a place at the councils of the world. The CDA Institute is the sponsor of the Vimy Award. Since 1991, the Award recognizes one Canadian who has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the defence and security of our nation and the preservation of our democratic values ….”
- Remember Canada’s Army boss presenting an American unit an award (9th item), and sharing the news via Twitter? The CF Info-Machine now has the story – more from what appears to be the hometown paper here.
- New boss for 9 Wing Gander. “After two years of commanding Canada’s most easterly Air Force Wing, Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Conway is heading to Ottawa. During a ceremony at the Canadian Forces Base 9 Wing Gander last Wednesday, Lt.-Col. Conway was given a proper sendoff, while incoming wing commander, Lt.-Col. Gilbert Thibault, was introduced ….”
- What’s Canada Buying: Big Honkin’ Ship Edition “Most people have never heard of François Guimont, Robert Fonberg, Richard Dicerni or Claire Dansereau. Yet, they hold Canada’s shipbuilding future in their hands. Some time this autumn, these four – they are the deputy ministers of Public Works, Defence, Industry and Fisheries and Oceans – will decide which Canadian shipyards will share a contract valued at a staggering $35-billion to provide the Canadian navy and Coast Guard with new fleets. Their decision is supposed to be apolitical. But there will be plenty of political fallout, regardless ….”
- No politics for the moment for retired Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier. “General Rick Hillier has shot down rumours that he is planning a bid to lead the Liberal Party in Newfoundland and Labrador, ending hours of confusion on a social media website over whether Canada’s former chief of the defence staff would run for the soon-to-be vacated post. “There has been some speculation over the last hours that I was going to run for the leadership of the Liberal party of Nfld,” Gen. Hillier, the province’s highest ranking officer in history, wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday morning. “I’m not! Just don’t see that, at this point, as where I am going in life.” ….”
- Guess who the rights to the yellow ribbon with “Support Our Troops” written on it belong to? “You can tie a yellow ribbon around your old oak tree for free. But if you want to use a yellow ribbon and the phrase “Support Our Troops” in your business, you’re going to have to pay Ottawa for the privilege. The Department of Natural Defence has owned the copyright to the phrase and the yellow ribbon image since 2007, said Department of National Defence public affairs officer Capt. Rob Bungay. “Although we appreciate and encourage individuals’ personal support of the Canadian Forces through the display of the yellow ribbon, the use of the department’s intellectual property in corporate promotional matter cannot be supported,” he said in an email. “The unauthorized use of the yellow ribbon in commercial advertising could mislead the public and Canadian Forces members with regard to the companies’ association with the official Support Our Troops program; and/or DND’s endorsement of the companies over that of their competitors.” ….”
- Historian disses NATO. “…. in diplomacy as in baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out. Afghanistan was strike one; Libya was strike two. And strike three? No one yet knows where the next call for action might be – Syria? – but if NATO funks it again, then the pressure from Ottawa and, possibly, Washington may be irresistible. NATO has lasted more than 60 years, but even historic alliances can become so attenuated and powerless that their irrelevance can no longer be ignored.”
- Canadians headed over to Israel to join the Israeli Defence Force.
- Isn’t this done yet? “The Winnipeg Jets, when they unveiled their new set of logos last month, were open about drawing inspiration from Canada’s air force. That hasn’t sat well with all of their fans; John Samson, the singer and main songwriter for Winnipeg band The Weakerthans, expressed concern over the logo’s direct link to the military and would rather see a more nuanced design ….” For a counterpoint, check out the Toronto Sun here.
Written by milnewsca
12 August 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 9 Wing Gander, Afghanistan, Chris Conway, Claire Dansereau, François Guimont, Gilbert Thibault, Hamid Karzai, IDF, Jack Granatstein, Libya, Libyan unrest, military news, milnews.ca, National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, NATO, Odyssey Dawn, Operation Mobile, Richard Dicerni, Rick Hillier, Rob Bungay, Robert Fonberg, Support Our Troops, Task Force Libeccio, Unified Protector, Winnipeg Jets, yellow ribbon
- No Fly Zone in Libya (1) – “Two Canadian surveillance aircraft have been sent to the Libyan coast to help coalition forces keep ships from bringing weapons and mercenaries into the North African country. The Auroras departed 14 Wing Greenwood in Nova Scotia and are in the midst of travelling to a military base in Trapani, Italy. Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced the deployment plans on Thursday afternoon, saying that two CP-140 Aurora planes will soon be engaged in the “evolving” mission against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ….” More from the Canadian Press here, Postmedia News here and here, and QMI Media here.
- No Fly Zone in Libya (2) – NATO’s agreed to run the no-fly zone show. “NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced today the alliance will assume command and control of coalition operations enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya authorized by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. “We are taking action as part of the broad international effort to protect civilians against the attacks by the [Moammar] Gadhafi regime,” Rasmussen said in a statement released today. “We will cooperate with our partners in the region and welcome their contributions.” All NATO allies are committed to fulfill their obligations under the U.N. resolution, Rasmussen said. “That is why we have decided to assume responsibility for the no-fly zone,” He added ….” NATO’s short & sweet statement on this here, some background from the U.S. State Department here, and some commentary from Wired.com’s Danger Room here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) – Again with a question in the House of Commons! Defence Minister MacKay’s response: “…. the reality is that the professional, non-partisan bureaucrats who work in the Department of National Defence disagree with the Parliamentary Budget Officer. In fact, they said that the methodology was wrong. They said that the cost of an aircraft should not be calculated based on its weight, that one does not go on historical analysis that is 50 years old and that one does not push it out 30 years. DND officials would be pleased to meet with the Parliamentary Budget Officer to discuss his methodologies and correct some of his flawed findings ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) – Former CBC journalist wades in: “…. this UN-sponsored mission raises new questions about the wisdom of buying 65 of these Lockheed-Martin “Joint Strike Fighters,” which are still in the test phase. Particularly when the price tag ranges from a low of $14.7 billion (government estimate) to a stunning $29 billion (Parliamentary Budget Office prediction). And when the Libya campaign drives home an awkward historical point – that Canada has never used more than a handful of jet fighters in foreign conflicts and there’s no reason to suspect this will change in the coming decades ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (3) – More from ceasefire.ca: “According to the latest CTV/Globe/Nanos Poll, when asked about the Harper government’s plan to purchase F-35 jet fighters, 68% of Canadians believe that now is not the right time to purchase the aircraft. Canadians identified healthcare as their number one unprompted issue of concern. 29% of respondents named it their top priority, next to 18% who consider jobs/economy their main concern. Military and foreign policy issues do not appear among the top five issues named by respondents ….”
- “Teens in military families are often burdened by additional emotional stress when a parent is deployed to Afghanistan, according to a new Canadian study. Researchers from the University of New Brunswick, the University of Alberta, Ryerson University, and York University released the findings of their groundbreaking research on Thursday that examined students at Oromocto High School near Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, who recently had a parent serving in the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. The researchers reported the teens worried their parents would not return home or would come back “different.” The study found that stress caused concerns at home. The young people felt a sense of responsibility for the emotional stability of their other parent and for any younger siblings at home. The teen felt additional stress if the parent remaining in Canada was having difficulty with the other parent being away on the military mission ….” More on the study from the Fredericton Telegraph-Journal here, Postmedia News here, and from the University of New Brunswick here.
- “The first batch of papers related to the handling of Afghan detainees is expected to be released within two weeks – a mid-election document dump that could damage both Liberals and Conservatives, or absolve them of wrongdoing in a matter that once dominated parliamentary debate. Bloc Québecois Leader Gilles Duceppe insists the documents must be made public by April 15 and says his MPs will withdraw from the closed-door Commons committee that has been vetting them if his demands are not met. When asked this week if he would expect that release to occur even if it coincided with an election campaign, Mr. Duceppe replied: “Yes, yes, yes.” Bryon Wilfert, a Liberal MP who sits on the committee, said Thursday he does not know when the release will occur but it will be “soon.” There is “obviously a fervent attempt” to meet Mr. Duceppe’s deadline, Mr. Wilfert said. And election, he said, “will not preclude or hamper the release.” ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? – “…. The Department of National Defence (DND) currently have over 70,000 C79 Optical Sights in use and plans to sustain the fleet by purchasing replacement sights matching existing equipment. CF personnel have been trained using the C79 optical sights. Weapon and sight units cannot be replaced with “cloned/substitute” items due to possible life endangerment. These sight units represent a soldier’s security and the security around him, which makes consideration of multiple versions of similar sight units unacceptable. In addition, it is essential for commonality purposes and to minimize in-service support costs that the same sight be purchased. Given the large inventory it would not be operationally feasible or affordable to replace every sight or to carry a mixed inventory ….” Who’s doing the replacing? Armament Technology Incorporated of Halifax, N.S.
- “Almost a decade after 9/11, the many arms of Canada’s national security network still do not share all their intelligence about terrorist threats with sister agencies, says a parliamentary report. The fix, says the new interim report by the special Senate Committee on Anti-terrorism, is to clarify and expand the mandate of the national security adviser (NSA) to the prime minister, giving the office statutory powers to co-ordinate national security activities and share counter-terrorism intelligence across government ….” More in a news release from the Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism here, and from the report, “Security, Freedom and the Complex Terrorist Threat: Positive Steps Ahead”, here (PDF).
- What a surprise! Chinese spies are keeping an eye on what they consider opposition groups here in Canada! “There are spies from China operating in Canada, members of the Chinese-Canadian community told QMI Agency Thursday. “We came here for freedom and find ourselves still under the oppression of the Chinese regime,” said Lucy Zhou, spokesman for a Falun Gong group in Ottawa. “What has happened in the past 10 years is that we have been victimized by the Chinese regime, including by the Chinese Embassy and missions here in Canada.” Zhou, who came to Canada as a student in 1989, says China regularly spies on Chinese citizens in Canada. “Going back to China, people are stopped right away and interrogated and they (Chinese officials) know everything that happens here in Canada,” Zhou said ….”
- Looky who’s poking around in the Arctic. “The United States is staging high-profile submarine exercises in the Arctic Ocean this month as evidence mounts that global warming will lead to more mining, oil production, shipping and fishing in the world’s last frontier. Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and a Who’s Who of other VIPs braved below-zero temperatures this month to visit a temporary camp on the ice about 150 miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, where two nuclear-powered U.S. submarines are conducting military training exercises. It is important for us to continue to train and operate in the Arctic,” said U.S. Navy Captain Rhett Jaehn, the No. 2 official overseeing U.S. submarine forces ….”
Written by milnewsca
25 March 11 at 7:45
Tagged with 14 Wing Greenwood, Afghanistan, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Armament Technology Incorporated, Aurora, Brian Stewart, C79 optical sights, Canadian detainee documents, CF-18, CFB Comox, CFB Gagetown, Chinese spies in Canada, CP-140, Deborah Harrison, F-35, Falun Gong, Freedom and the Complex Terrorist Threat: Positive Steps Ahead, Hugh Segal, Joint Strike Fighter, Libya, Libya no-flight zone, Libya no-fly zone, Libyan unrest, MERX, military news, milnews.ca, national security adviser, NATO, New Brunswick School District 17, Operation Mobile, Oromocto, Prudhoe Bay, Ray Mabus, Rhett Jaehn, Robert Hale, Ryerson University, security, Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism, Task Force Libeccio, University of Alberta, University of New Brunswick, York University
- They were just good kids – riiiiiiiiiiiight…. “While members of the Winnipeg’s Islamic community were stunned to learn two former University of Manitoba students are wanted on terror charges, a long-time local scholar of terrorism said it’s no surprise Canadian Muslims are being recruited by al-Qaida. “It’s shocking,” said Shahina Siddiqui, president of Islamic Social Services Association of Canada, which is headquartered in Winnipeg. Siddiqui was at Tuesday’s RCMP announcement of the charges against ex-Winnipeggers Ferid Ahmed Imam, 30, and Maiwand Yar, 27, that relate to a plot to bomb subways in New York City. “There’s a lot of questions and there’s fear and anxiety of how the community will be treated because there’s always a few people who would take this opportunity to target or malign Muslims,” she said. “Like all Canadians, our major concern is the security of the country and there is absolutely no tolerance for anything that would jeopardize it.” Siddiqui said she was acquainted with the family of one of the men charged, but wouldn’t say which. “All we know about them is they came from good families, they were doing well in university, they played soccer,” she said. “They were like regular Canadian kids.” ….”
- Canada’s still waiting for more information from Japan about how it can help the earthquake-stricken country. “Assistance Response Teams available to send to Japan, as well as rapid-deployment field medical facilities, and teams of engineering, humanitarian and search-and-rescue experts. But none of these emergency crews have been dispatched to Japan because Ottawa hasn’t yet received an official request for their services. So far, the only aid Canada has sent is 25,000 blankets that were sent on Wednesday ….”
- As Saudi troops head into Bahrain to help, uh, sort things out there, ceasefire.ca says it’s good old Canadian-built hardware carrying some of the Saudi forces. “…. An estimated 1200 soldiers from the Saudi National Guard and 800 from the UAE entered the country from Saudi Arabia, ostensibly to help protect public infrastructure …. During the 1990s and early 2000s Canada sold more than 1200 LAVs built by General Motors Diesel Division (now General Dynamics Land Systems Canada) of London, Ontario to the Saudi National Guard ….” It’ll be interesting to hear if the issue comes up in Question Period this week, given that it appears ALL parties consented to the deal in the summer of 1991.
- The latest on Canada’s effort to pack up in Kandahar in preparation to leave. “The biggest challenge for the man planning Canada’s move out of Kandahar is not loading hundreds of vehicles or packing thousands of weapons away. It’s the clock. “Time is going to be the big thing,” Lt.-Col. Steve Moritsugu said in an interview. “We could put more people, we could put more effort, we could put more hours … but we’re done that day. That’s the one constant.” Since July, Moritsugu has led a liaison and planning team of up to 10 members responsible for ensuring all Canadian-issued property — everything from pencils to planes — is out of Kandahar by Dec. 31. It is a massive undertaking. More than 1,000 sea containers must be emptied. Close to 1,000 vehicles must be maintained and cleaned — easier said than done in an environment where dust is everywhere. And thousands of rounds of ammunition must be properly stored or disposed of before the big move ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged in Kandahar & Uruzgan, and Taliban say (again) Afghans want NATO outta there.
- Another way to help out wounded warriors, shared via Army.ca. “Operation Never Quit is a project designed to send 7 wounded Canadian Soldiers and a 12 year-old Army Cadet to UFC 129 in Toronto. Op Never Quit is raising money through Sponsorship to fund a full red carpet experience at UFC 129 for these deserving Canadian Heroes. With the remaining money left at the end of the event OP never Quit will be making a donation to the Charity of choice of the wounded Soldiers, in their name ….”
- Good point here about Canadian defence spending, those who want to cut it, and those wanting to send in the troops – anywhere. “…. When Libya erupted, Prime Minister Stephen Harper dispatched three military transport planes, while the navy’s current rapid reaction warship, Halifax-based HMCS Charlottetown, made haste to put to sea. These actions, however, weren’t taken fast enough for the political opposition, the media and several self-style defence think-tanks – the same crowd that is up in arms over the Harper government’s plan to buy F-35 fighter jets, and over what they say is too much military spending. How odd that, on the one hand, these critics give the Harper regime hell for being slow off the mark to deploy military assets while on the other repeatedly condemn them for spending money on the military ….”
- Speaking of the HMCS Charlottetown, it’s now part of a different operation now that OP Mobile to get Canadians outta Libya’s seems to be done with. “…. On 2 March 2011, the frigate HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339) left her home port of Halifax for the central Mediterranean as part of Operation MOBILE, Canada’s participation in the multinational effort to evacuate foreign nationals from Libya. The military evacuation concluded on 8 March, when Charlottetown was still in the mid-Atlantic, and the frigate was consequently reassigned to Op SIRIUS. Charlottetown’s tasks include locating, tracking, reporting and boarding of vessels suspected of involvement in terrorism. Commanded by Commander Craig Skjerpen, with a crew about 240 officers and sailors and a CH-124 Sea King helicopter detachment, HMCS Charlottetown is a highly ready and technologically advanced ship capable of the full spectrum of maritime operations ….”
- Check out the CF-18 demonstration team’s new web page here.
- “The Goose Bay air base in central Labrador has spent millions of dollars to prepare for a military exercise that has now been cancelled for the second time in as many years. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercise was scheduled to train forward air controllers – people on the ground who help guide planes to bomb targets. The Canadian military has spent millions upgrading the practice target area for the exercise, which would have brought hundreds of people to Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay for part of the summer. The exercise was originally scheduled for last summer, but was held in the U.S. instead. Now NATO has backed out of plans to hold the exercise at CFB Goose Bay again. A military spokesperson said NATO will still hold the exercise, but it will be held in the U.S. where it is expected to cost less.”
- F-35 Tug o’ War “…. The pertinent question not being addressed is that any possible alternatives would mean settling for generation-four or upgraded generation “four and a half” fighter replacements – essentially what the current CF-18s are, after several airframe and avionics upgrades over their long service life …. The CF-18s will be pushing 40 by the time new aircraft are deployed. Canada will still likely still be flying whatever fighters replace them in 2040 and beyond, so it makes no logical sense to buy aircraft that will be essentially obsolete before the first one is delivered – paying for upgraded mid-20th-century technology with 21st-century money ….”
- Remember Canada’s work toward converting some Leopard tanks to Armoured Engineer Vehicles? Potential bidders are getting another deadline extension.
Written by milnewsca
17 March 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Armoured Engineer Vehicle, Bahrain, ceasefire.ca, CF-18 Demonstration Team, CFB Goose Bay, Craig Skjerpen, earthquakes in Japan, F-35, Ferid Ahmed Imam, HMCS Charlottetown, Islamic Social Services Association of Canada, japan, Jody Mitic, Joint Strike Fighter, KAF, Kandahar Air Field, Leopard AEV, Libya, Libyan unrest, Maiwand Yar, military news, milnews.ca, NATO, Operation Mobile, Operation Never Quit, Operation Sirius, Saudi Arabia, Shahina Siddiqui, Steve Moritsugu, UFC 129
- Ceasefire.ca, always against anything military Canada is doing or wants to do (except for “peacekeeping”), has a new online petition against the new mission in Afghanistan: “Tell Stephen Harper, other party leaders, and your own MP that you do not support the proposed training mission for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. Send your letter, right away.” The web site allows you to personalize the letter to the government. I wonder how many people would dare personalize it to the point where it says they support the mission? As Yoda might say, quite funny that would be ….
- The PM’s issued a statement following the NATO weekend conference in Lisbon, and (no surprise) Afghanistan came up: “…. Next year will mark the beginning of a new chapter in Afghanistan’s history. Over a transition period, between 2011 and 2014, Afghan forces will assume primary responsibility for the security of their country. As this transition proceeds, Canada will assist the Afghan people build a stronger future. After the combat mission ends next year, this assistance will be in the form of aid, development and military training, centred in Kabul. Leaders also re-iterated their deep respect for the contribution and enormous sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform, our development workers and our diplomats. These brave individuals continue to make Canada proud.”
- He also had something to say to Afghan President Hamid Karzai: “Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday that he must reduce corruption or Canada will “not dispense a dime” directly to his government. Harper said Karzai expressed an expectation at the NATO summit in Lisbon that 50 per cent of the multibillion-dollar aid coming from donor countries go directly to his government instead of through the United Nations and other multilateral programs or non-government aid agencies. “In that case, our answer is very clear,” Harper said at a news conference. “We will not dispense a dime to the government of Afghanistan unless we are convinced that that money will be spent in the way that it’s intended to be spent.” ….” More on that from the Canadian Press here and from QMI/Sun Media here.
- Karzai, meanwhile, is glad to see Canada stay & train: “Canada has been at the forefront of assistance to Afghanistan from the very beginning …. The Afghan people are extremely grateful for the Canadian contribution to the well-being of the Afghan people. Canada’s decision to continue to assist Afghanistan after they have ended their military mission is welcome and . . . we are very grateful for that.”
- NATO’s newest position: “NATO has agreed to hand control of security in Afghanistan to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.” The Taliban’s response? You should leave sooner, not later (links to statement at Scribd.com): “The real solution of the Afghan issue lies in withdrawal of the foreign forces. Hence the NATO decision to start withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan in 2014 is an irrational decision because until then, various untoward and tragic events and battles will take place as a result of this meaningless, imposed and unwinning war. The bottom line for them is to immediately implement what they would ultimately have to implement though after colossal casualties. They should not postpone withdrawal of their forces even be it for one day.”
- Back in Canada, according to CBC.ca, even Quebec separatists appear nervous about a group calling itself the Patriotic Militia of Quebec, which is now opening a recruiting office in Montreal. For example: “…. Organizers insist the group is non-violent and say they sometimes show up to help with the response to natural disasters. But founder Serge Provost insists the group needs to be prepared to defend Quebec if it is attacked. “If we want to defend our people, we have no choice but to use the same weapons as our aggressors,” Provost said, adding the group has applied to Quebec provincial police for permission to build a firing range ….” Here’s a link to the group’s web site (Google English translation – since the group doesn’t have an English page – here), and here’s some previous debate/discussion on the group over at Army.ca.
- Coming up soon (or, according to one military expert, it should be): a Canadian space defence policy: “…. the man in charge of space development for the defence department predicts the initial steps of the next major conflict are more than likely to start in orbit and Canada should be prepared. There will “absolutely” be more of a military role for Canada in space than in the past, Col. Andre Dupuis said on Saturday as he discussed the defence department’s plans to overhaul its space defence policy. “The first line in the sand for the next major conflict may very well be in space or cyberspace, but probably not on the ground or in the air or in the seas,” Dupuis said in an interview while attending the annual conference of the Canadian Space Society ….”
- Just a reminder that you don’t need to wear a uniform to make a difference in Afghanistan: “…. This hero read a newspaper article about an injustice at the age of 14 and instead of just fuming silently, she has now spent fully half of her 28 years on this planet battling to improve the peace and security of the world by building literacy and hope in a land where both were almost extinguished by the murderous, medieval Taliban government that came to power in Afghanistan in 1996. Her name is Lauryn Oates and she is one of the founders of the Calgary and Montreal chapters of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan). The PhD student in language and literacy education, who has been published numerous times on these pages in the Herald, has just returned from her 19th trip to Afghanistan. She tries hard to hide it, but anger flashes in her blue eyes when she talks about the cultural relativism she hears from too many westerners every time she speaks of the grassroots work she is doing in Afghanistan to help train teachers and help women in that troubled land build the civil infrastructure needed to enhance literacy, health care and democracy ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban call on U.S. to come up with withdrawal plan (again).
Written by milnewsca
21 November 10 at 7:45
Tagged with Andre Dupuis, Canadian mission in Afghanistan, ceasefire.ca, Director of Space Development, Hamid Karzai, Lauryn Oates, Lisbon, Milice Patriotique Québécoise, military news, milnews.ca, NATO, Patriotic Militia of Quebec, Stephen Harper