Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight News Highlights – December 19, 2012

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  • Afghanistan (1)  No documents seem to be shared, so no word what else is in them“The war may be over, but the cleanup is still underway.  Nearly 400 shipping containers full of Canadian military supplies remain stuck in Kandahar more than a year after Canada’s withdrawal from the war-torn province was declared complete, federal documents show.  National Defence says the material is considered low priority and that all high-value and sensitive equipment has been returned to Canada.  But the delay, brought on by the extended closure of the Afghan border with Pakistan, has turned into a long, costly logistics nightmare for the military, which was counting on having everything home and in good order to fully re-equip and refurbish the army.  “All of it still has residual value that in cost and time terms means it’s worth hanging on to,” said Lt.-Gen. Stuart Beare, the commander of the country’s foreign and domestic operations.  Beare said the absence of the material — including tires, spare parts, tents and other gear — does not directly impede the army’s regeneration.  But documents obtained under access to information laws show the Canadian government has faced increased withdrawal costs because the containers still have to be stored and guarded at yards adjacent to Kandahar Airfield, where space in is short supply at NATO’s biggest and busiest base in south Afghanistan.  “The on-going closure of the Pakistan border continues to represent a significant cost to the (Canadian Forces) in the form of shortage and potential increased transit costs” for the remaining containers, said a May 17, 2012 briefing prepared for former chief of defence staff Walt Natynczyk, prior to the reopening of the border ….”  
  • Afghanistan (2)  Remember this Canadian Chinook crash in Kandahar in August 2010?  The final investigation report is in – this layman’s summary, from The Canadian Press  “A final report into the crash of a Canadian battlefield helicopter outside of Kandahar city in the summer of 2010 has concluded that CH-147 Chinook helicopters need “crash-worthy seating” and restraints for passengers.  The helicopter, which was on a routine supply mission and had just departed a nearby base, was reportedly shot down by Taliban ground fire.  The pilots were able to successfully land the aircraft in an open field and everyone got out with only minor injuries.  Investigators say an in-flight fire ultimately brought down the chopper.  They were reluctant to render a finding that the aircraft was shot down, saying there was “no conclusive correlation” between the gunfire and the blaze.  The investigation into the August 2010 crash looked only at the effectiveness of life support equipment and emergency procedures for getting out of the aircraft ….” – a few different details from the DND Info-machine’s news release.
  • Afghanistan (3)   The U.N. says the bad guys have been causing more than 8 out of every civilian casualty lately, and the Taliban are blaming local police forces for a lot of the killings.
  • Congrats to what appears to be the new CF Chief Warrant Officer!  “This message announces my selection of the next Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officers (CFCWO).  CFCWO CP01 J.A.R. Cleroux will be leaving his appointment in APS 2013 and will be replaced by CWO K.C. West …. Signed by Gen T.J. Lawson, CDS” – more on CWO West here
  • Remember this guy, whose plane was intercepted by American F-16’s as it flew into the U.S. without permission of the plane’s owner?  Here’s the latest  “Adam Leon will have another day in court as his special plea was dismissed Tuesday.  A Confederation College aviation student at the time, Leon made international headlines in 2009 when he stole a plane from the school’s aviation program near Thunder Bay International Airport and flew into U.S. airspace before coming down in Missouri.  He was convicted in the U.S. and sentenced to two years in prison for illegally entering that country and interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft.  Leon has been charged with theft over $5,000 in Canada but made a special plea of autrefois convict, which is similar to double jeopardy.  In her decision Tuesday, Judge Joyce Pelletier said the charges are not the same.   “The American offenses could only be committed in the United States,” she said referring to the charges of illegal entry and transportation of stolen goods.  “Theft in Canada is a different charge of a different nature.” …. His next court date is Dec. 21.”

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19 December 12 at 7:45

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