Posts Tagged ‘Smoky Hill Weapons Range’
- Francis Roy, R.I.P. He’s home – more here, here and here.
- On Francis Roy, and the Toronto Star, a letter from Canada’s Joint Task Force Kandahar Commander: “…. I am disappointed that an article in a reputable paper such as the Toronto Star would suggest that some military deaths are treated differently. To lose a comrade in arms, whether at home or on active service, is difficult for all of us. One thing Canadians can be certain of is the respect we, the Canadian Forces, bestow on our fallen ….”
- Joshua Caleb Baker, 1985-2010, R.I.P. “The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), the investigative arm of the Canadian Forces Military Police, today charged two Canadian Forces members for an incident that occurred on a training range in Afghanistan on February 12, 2010. The Officer in Charge, Major Darryl Watts, and the Range Safety Officer, Warrant Officer Paul Ravensdale, face six charges and five alternate charges each in relation to the death of Corporal Joshua Caleb Baker and the injury of four other soldiers …. It is alleged that the proper safety procedures were not followed during the training exercise. The case will now proceed through the military justice system.” More here (Canadian Press), here (Globe & Mail), here, here (Postmedia News), here (Toronto Star), here and here (QMI/Sun Media) – discussion at Army.ca here.
- Afghanistan (1) “Luck is a subject most combat troops don’t like to talk about in the field — and certainly not on the night they go home. The palpable sense of relief they feel upon leaving the bomb-laced fields of Afghanistan, a country where life and death can often seem maddeningly random, is not something they share very easily. Many troops at barren outposts will quickly hush anyone who tries to describe their survival in terms of luck, as though its invocation is somehow a curse or a jinx. To bring it up as they board the plane is to remind them that some of their buddies are not coming home. The 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment battle group has had fewer fatalities than any Canadian unit of the Afghan war, which for Canada is rapidly drawing to a close ahead of the July deadline established by Parliament for the end of combat operations. Hundreds of troops belonging to Alpha Company, which spent seven months in one of the toughest districts of Kandahar, went home for good in the overnight hours early Thursday. Feeling lucky wasn’t in their vocabulary ….” More on the troops coming home here.
- Afghanistan (2) Just a reminder: Kabul is one of the places Canadian troops will be stationed once the “combat mission” ends. “The brazen attack by insurgents on a Kabul hotel Tuesday is a clear sign the Taliban remain “a force to be reckoned with” in all regions of Afghanistan as the combat mission for Canada and other NATO troops draws to a close, says one security expert. The attack, which left 19 people dead — including nine insurgents — is an indication well-planned attacks in more secure locations are still possible in the conflict-stricken country, said Jez Littlewood, director of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at Ottawa’s Carleton University. “To do an armed assault on one of the premier hotels in Kabul and conduct that attack for (hours) . . . before it was brought to an end sends quite a strong message in terms of this being a sophisticated attack” ….”
- Afghanistan (3) “Canada is to assume the lead role for NATO in training Afghanistan’s most senior police officers. Canadians are to be 24 of the 34 mentors advising generals from Afghanistan’s four police forces as well as top officials in the Interior Ministry, according to the Canadian general who runs police training across Afghanistan. “An increased presence of police professionals at the centre of the police development agenda is what Canada has chosen to do in a big way,” said Maj.-Gen. Stu Beare, the Canadian army general who runs police training for NATO across Afghanistan. “There is a shift out of the South to Kabul, out of the basic training system and junior level training right into the heart of the Interior Ministry and the police.” The police advisers from Canada are to be based in Kabul. They are to replace a group of junior Canadian police officers who have spent the past few years working at a grassroots level with police in Kandahar. The move to the Afghan capital comes after Ottawa directed that Canada’s military and civilian presence in Kandahar be reduced to zero by the end of the year ….”
- Afghanistan (4) “Convincing Taliban fighters to lay down their arms and surrender represents Afghanistan’s best chance for peace in a generation, says the governor of Kandahar. But Tooryalai Wesa is warning insurgents who want to sign up for the Afghan government’s reintegration plan that it is not a welfare program, and they should not expect perpetual handouts. “From my perspective, reconcilation is not a blank cheque by the end of the month,” Wesa said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press. “Peace in Kandahar is impossible without talk, without sitting with people, without sitting with the insurgency.” ….”
- Libya Mission “Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver will depart in the coming days to the Mediterranean Sea to join NATO forces in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect civilian populations in Libya. HMCS Vancouver will replace HMCS Charlottetown, which has been on patrol with NATO forces in the region since the early spring with Operation Unified Protector, on a regular rotation of ship and crew …. The ship’s company of Vancouver will continue the exceptional work started by Charlottetown in protecting Libyan civilians. Along with NATO allies, Canadian sailors have helped open air and sea access for humanitarian assistance and have closed it to arms and mercenaries ….” More on this here and here.
- What’s Canada Buying (1) “The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a $7 million contract to Ultra Electronics Canada Defence Inc. of Dartmouth, N.S. The contract is in support of a larger Department of National Defence (DND) initiative to renew the Halifax-Class frigates, called the Halifax-Class Modernization / Frigate Life Extension Project (HCM-FELEX). Canada’s 12 Halifax-Class frigates serve as the backbone of the navy fleet …. The modernization of the frigates includes a new command and control system, new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system, and upgraded communications technologies and missiles. The frigates will also undergo a mid-life refit to ensure that they continue to operate at their most effective. The full program is expected to take approximately six-and-a-half years, as currently planned.”
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) Someone to poke a shipwreck for things that go bang, a new office for Dwyer Hill and a Zamboni (?) for CFB Suffield.
- Remembering (1) Some folks are upset at the prospect of an east coast university library building dedicated to the memory of fallen Mount Allison University alumni facing the prospect of being torn down - more discussion at Army.ca here.
- Remembering (2) While it’s actually free verse rather than classic haiku, it’s still an interesting memorial piece of literature. “Ron Stewart of Kilworth wrote this haiku for the Home County Great Canadian Haiku contest. It will be read at the Home County Folk Festival on July 16. Thanks to Ron for the permission to publish it. Ron gave me information about why he wrote the poem: “The return of a fallen soldier always stirs a strong emotional response in me. The ramp ceremony in Trenton and the drive down the Highway of Heroes is likewise very moving. I have written several poems on the subject. One titled “The Arch for Nicola” has been published. A brief explanation. Nicola Goddard was a graduate of the Royal Military College as am I. The Memorial Arch at RMC is a proud symbol of that little bit of our shared heritage.” ….”
- Remembering (3) “On the eve of the visit by Prince William and Kate — the future faces of a long-cherished royal institution — a delegation of Canadians young and old is half a world away, preparing for a more sobering connection with their country’s past. A group of military veterans and high school students spanning four generations embarks Thursday on a four-day memorial tour of First World War sites throughout France, paying tribute at monuments to some of Canada’s greatest battles, including Vimy Ridge, Courcelette and Beaumont-Hamel. The tour, sponsored by Veterans Affairs Canada, is timed to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, a four and a half month-long military campaign that killed more than a million soldiers ….”
- Royal Visit (1) “When the hottest couple on the planet touches down on Canadian soil today, they’ll be landing aboard a Canadian air force jet from 437 Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont. and continuing a 60-year tradition that began with Prince William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1951. It was then that a young Princess Elizabeth and her dashing husband, Prince Phillip, visited Canada for the first time via a Royal Canadian Air Force C-5 aircraft, “arguably the most luxurious of any aircraft in Canada, if not the world,” says Canadian Forces historian Maj. Mathias Joost. “For 16 years, she ferried dignitaries [not just the royal family] to all continents except Antarctica, logging more than 2.5 million miles in 9,500 hours in the air.” ….” More on who’s flying the Royal Couple around Canada here and here.
- Royal Visit (2) The Prince is good to go on co-piloting a Sea King helicopter during his visit.
- Canadian Forces search and rescue teams don’t JUST do their work in the middle of the night during crappy weather (via the CF Info-Machine).
- But you already saw this elsewhere (third item from bottom) about a week ago, right? “Members of a Canadian air force squadron are in central Kansas through mid-July for a training mission. The 425th Tactical Fighter Squadron, flying U.S.-made F-18 Hornet fighter jets, will train with forward air controllers at the Smoky Hill Weapons Range, maintained by the Kansas National Guard. Smoky Hill is the nation’s largest National Guard bombing range, covering 51 square miles with more than 100 tactical and electronic targets ….”
- “The first man ever convicted under Canada’s anti-terrorism law should not have his appeal heard before the country’s highest court because his arguments lack “an air of reality,” according to federal prosecutors. The arguments from federal lawyers paint Mohammad Momim Khawaja as a cold-hearted killer who lived the “archetypal life of a modern western Jihadist” with an innocuous job by day and building bombs by night. Khawaja argues that Canada’s anti-terrorism laws are unconstitutional and violate freedom of expression and religion. His appeal also argues his sentence is too stiff ….”
Written by milnewsca
30 June 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Beaumont-Hamel, Darryl Watts, Francis Roy, Halifax-Class Modernization/Frigate Life Extension Project, HCM-FELEX, HMCS Charlottetown, HMCS Vancouver, Jez Littlewood, Joshua Caleb Baker, Libya, Libyan unrest, Mathias Joost, MERX, military news, milnews.ca, Mohammad Momim Khawaja, Nichola Goddard, Odyssey Dawn, Operation Mobile, Paul Ravensdale, Rosie DiManno, Smoky Hill Weapons Range, Task Force Libeccio, The Arch for Nicola, Ultra Electronics Canada Defence, Unified Protector
- Canadians are starting to GTFO Libya. “The first group of Canadian evacuees left Libya Wednesday by boat and more are expected to fly out Thursday, the federal government says. Foreign Affairs confirmed at least 26 Canadians, along with several American and British citizens, left the Libyan capital of Tripoli on a U.S. charter ferry heading to Malta. The Canadian charter flight is scheduled to leave Thursday afternoon from Tripoli to Rome, Italy. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon is expected to greet the flight, as well as meet with his Italian counterpart to discuss the situation in Libya. Evacuees are asked to bring food and water and will have to reimburse the federal government $500 for the cost of the flight. So far, 178 Canadians currently trapped in the North African nation have said they want to leave the country. Some 350 Canadians are registered with the embassy in Libya ….” More on the exodus from CTV.ca and Postmedia News.
- More news on the latest in Libya here (Google News), here (EMM News Brief: Libya), here (NewsNow), here (BBC) and here (Al Jazeera English).
- I would f**king well HOPE so! “Troops who will be sent to Afghanistan for training missions later this year will include corporals, not just senior officers, Canada’s chief of land staff for the Canadian Forces has revealed. Canadian corporals have a “level of maturity and capability and pride that we think is important to share with the Afghans,” Lieutenant General Peter Devlin told QMI Agency in an exclusive interview. Devlin said the corporals will join officers and senior NCOs (non-commissioned officers such as sergeants and warrant officers), which will help spread out the work for Canadian troops. Corporals are ““gifted instructors, I would put them up against senior NCOs from other nations, and that is our approach,” he said. While corporals are among the more junior ranks of Canada’s Army, they posses valuable combat experience in Afghanistan, Devlin added ….”
- What Canadian trainer/mentors are up to in Afghanistan.
- More on Canadian troops serving in Sudan, especially following the referendum creating the world’s newest country. “The Canadian Forces members of Task Force Sudan took part in efforts by United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to support the recent referendum in South Sudan: maintaining a constant patrol presence in all sectors of the country, both north and south, and facilitating the delivery of ballots to polling stations. UNMIS kept a low profile, focussing on security and support for the U.N. agencies that monitored and assisted the voting process directly. The vote was largely free of violence or fraud, and the participation rate was much higher than we ever see in Canada. The international community has praised the people of South Sudan for their patient participation in a watershed decision. Task Force Sudan is deployed under Operation SAFARI to provide UNMIS with staff officers and United Nations Military Observers (UNMOs). At any given time, Task Force Sudan comprises about 26 military personnel, including a small but mighty national support element in Khartoum supporting both the CF members of the task force and the Canadian police officers serving in Sudan with the U.N. Police (UNPOL) ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) Who’s interested, qualified to refit HMCS PROTECTEUR? “The Department of National Defence has a requirement for a refit of HMCS PROTECTEUR; a West Coast Canadian based PROTECTEUR Class Auxiliary Oil Replenishment (AOR) ship based in Victoria, British Columbia. It is anticipated that the refit work will commence February 2012 with a completion date of December 2012 ….” (via Milnet.ca)
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) Someone to set up a “temporary” camp at Resolute Bay for $6.5 million, and three organizations get contract to conduct Taser research. (via Milnet.ca)
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1a) From the Toronto Star: “Federal Liberals plan to open a second front in their document war with the Harper government. The party’s defence critic, Dominic Leblanc, is demanding the release of a key air force report that lays out the justification for the purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets. The statement of operational requirements was stamped classified by National Defence last year and the Conservative government has resisted calls by the opposition parties to make the document public. LeBlanc served notice to the House of Commons defence committee that he’ll table a motion demanding the release of the statement — a measure he hopes the NDP and Bloc Québécois will support. That sets the stage for another tug-of-war over document secrecy ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1b) From the Toronto Sun: “Another day, another Liberal MP attacking the Conservatives for allegedly being too secretive and wasteful with public money. Liberal defence critic Dominic LeBlanc lashed out at the government Wednesday for hiding the true costs of their tough-on-crime agenda, and for going ahead with the F35 stealth fighter jet purchase amid fears the $16 billion figure for the 65 aircraft (including maintenance) is going to grow. “Despite repeated reasonable requests by Liberal MPs for precise cost estimates on the Conservative stealth fighter purchase and the prison expansion plans, the Harper government continues to hide these numbers,” LeBlanc said at a press conference Wednesday. “The bottom line for us is Canadians have a right to know before Parliament is asked to vote on important pieces of legislation or approve massive expenditures like those involved in the stealth fighter purchase.” ….”
- Canada’s Air Force is pumping a bit of $ into the Kansas economy. “The sky of Salina may be a little louder than usual as our neighbors to the north with six CF-18 Hornets and two CH-146 Griffon helicopters from Canadian Air CF-18s on the flightline in Salina. Canada’s Tactical Fighter Squadrons have an economic impact of close to $2 million each deployment. Force 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron take advantage of the training and basing opportunities at the Salina Airport Authority and the Smoky Hill Weapons Range, through March 23 ….”
- Loooongish service from an aviation workhorse. “Nine CC-138 Twin Otters have served with the Canadian Forces (CF) since 1971. In 1994, 440 Transport and Rescue Squadron was renamed 440 Transport Squadron (440 (T) Sqn), its fleet was reduced to four aircraft and the squadron relocated to Yellowknife, where it remains today. “[The Twin Otter] has supported a wide number of roles while supporting Canada, the Canadian Forces and Canadians,” explains Lieutenant-Colonel Dwayne Lovegrove, Commanding Officer, 440 (T) Sqn, “so it’s worthy of a little bit of celebration.” ….”
- Uh, no they DON’T (corrections in terminology mine). “War resisters Deserters in Canada need our support …. Thank you for the eloquent article on Rodney Watson, the U.S. Army resister alleged deserter who is living in Vancouver under constant threat of deportation. Watson’s Canadian wife and their young son also suffer from this unconscionable situation. All of us who care about justice for military resister alleged deserters should besiege Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney’s office with requests for a humane resolution.” Anyone who volunteers for the military and runs away because they don’t like the mission is like a cop who won’t police in a certain area of town because s/he disagrees with protecting people living in that area. Want to make a solid political statement that’ll impress people? Don’t go, and face the music.
Written by milnewsca
24 February 11 at 7:45
Tagged with milnews.ca, OMLT, Afghan National Army, Jason Kenney, military news, Mercedes Stephenson, F-35, Operation Safari, HMCS Protecteur, Carleton University, UNMIS, Rodney Watson, war resister, deserter, Dominic Leblanc, Peter Devlin, Canadian training mission in Afghanistan, 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron, Smoky Hill Weapons Range, Salina Kansas, Task Force Sudan, Alan Zubrinick, Eden Wong, Peter Dibben, Mathew Maxwell, Brad Fee, Frederick Letourneau, Yves Lamotte, Michael Burke, Jacques Dubé, Kent MacRae, Dwayne Lovegrove, 440 Transport Squadron, Yellowknife, CC-138, Twin Otter, Philippe Rhéaume, Pier-Marc Desjardins-Boutin, 205 (Hero) Corps, Kandak 5, Kandak Mentor Team 5, KMT 5, Auxiliary Oil Replenishment, AOR, DATREND Systems, MPB Technologies, Conducted Energy Weapons Strategic Initiative, CEWSI, Resolute Bay