Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

What’s Canada Buying? November 19, 2012

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  • Big Money into New Armoury in Quebec City  The federal government announced Friday that it will invest more than $100 million to rebuild Quebec City’s military armoury, which was destroyed by fire in 2008.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement Friday at the Citadelle in Quebec City.  Quebec City’s mayor, Régis Labeaume, was on hand for the presentation of the architectural plans of the new military armoury.  “Our cry from the heart was heard,” he said in response to the announcement for funding to rebuild the armoury.  “In the name of Quebecers, Mr. Prime Minister, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”  No member of Quebec’s provincial government had been invited, which brought criticism from Pauline Marois, the leader of the Parti Quebecois.  Prime Minister Harper said that an invitation had been extended Friday morning to Agnes Maltais, the Parti Quebecois Minister responsible for Quebec City, however the Minister was in Beauce and was unable to attend ….” – more from the PM’s Info-machine here.
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (x)  The minister of defence insists Canada’s military will replace its outdated fighter jets but would not say if Canadian forces are looking at aircraft other than the controversial F-35.  “Clearly everyone understands that equipment requires replacement at some point,” Peter MacKay said Sunday. “(New jets are needed) just as new ships are needed.”  Specifically asked about the purchase of F-35s, MacKay only said that Canada’s fighter jet secretariat was “looking in detail” at the country’s military needs.  MacKay’s comments, on CTV’s Question Period, come just weeks after the head of the air force claimed his department was never told to study other aircraft than the F-35 in its bid to replace the aging fleet of CF-18 fighters. The Department of National Defence (DND) later refuted that statement ….”
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (x)  The glass is half full  “In what was history in the making, the first F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, landed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma on Friday afternoon.  Marine pilot Maj. Aric Liberman arrived at the air station at approximately 1 p.m., having flown in from Lockheed Martin’s production plant in Fort Worth, Texas.  “The delivery of VMFA-121’s first F-35B is a tremendous milestone for our country, the Marine Corps, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Air Wing, the hard-working Marines of VMFA-121 and the city of Yuma. This marks the transition to the next generation of aircraft for the U.S. military and our Marine Corps.,” said VMFA-121 commanding officer Lt. Col. Jeffrey Scott ….”
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (x)  The glass is half empty  “The U.S. Marine Corps has received its first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that, in theory, is meant for actual combat. But that doesn’t mean the pricey, long-delayed JSF is going to be dropping bombs on enemy targets anytime soon. The Lockheed Martin-built plane’s computerized logistical system, flight software and special helmet still aren’t ready — and it lacks weapons.  No, the Marines have taken possession of the combat-designated, but not combat-ready, F-35 in order to begin building up its stealth-fighter fleet. Not yet, anyway. The advance preparation should ensure that the Corps can send the new JSF squadrons into combat the moment the jet is finally fully equipped … whenever that might be ….”
  • Big Honkin’ Ships  One Senator’s opinion  “…. This government has placed a priority on boosting Canada’s international trade. It has also branded its military strategy as “Canada first,” which suggests that it is serious about trying to ensure the security of Canadians.  If it’s big on trade, and big on security, why not build vessels capable of protecting our ports and our seaways? Why build vessels whose only purpose is to bolster our sovereignty claims in the Arctic? Sovereignty issues are going to be decided through diplomacy and/or in the courts. Arctic patrol ships won’t matter there.  Building minesweepers to protect our ports while leaving Arctic patrol to the coast guard would be a far more intelligent investment. It’s one thing to lose a board game. It’s an entirely different thing for a country to waste more than $7-billion on window dressing.”
  • Wanted:  Someone to provide gabions (heavy wire cages to fill with rocks and such) CFS Alert.

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19 November 12 at 12:15

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