MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – January 15, 2013
- More Mali (1a) PM: One big honkin’ cargo plane, one week, for “non-combat role to support operations” – more here, here, here and here.
- More Mali (1b) “The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, will attend the departure of a CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft and personnel to assist the French Government in transporting military equipment to Mali. Minister MacKay will make short remarks prior to an extended photo opportunity. The plane will depart Trenton at 8:00 a.m. for Istres-Le Tubé, a large multi-role French Air Force base located near Istres, northwest of Marseille, France ….”
- More Mali (2a) Academic: “Sending soldiers to Mali may be the only solution”
- More Mali (2b) Columnist: “…. reality is that if our troops are sent to Mali in any capacity, it’ll be like entering quicksand and there’ll soon be requests (demands?) that they fight …. So Harper is right to be wary of Mali — for the moment“
- More Mali (2c) A senator & a think tanker: “…. We cannot stand idle, expecting Mali to become a functioning democracy before we begin to contemplate supporting the African Union, which was granted a seal of approval by the UN Security Council this past December. Inaction will only give the extremist groups more time to strengthen their defences and recruit more jihadists — or worse, they might take over the rest of the country ….”
- More Mali (3a) More on whazzup in Mali here (Google News), here (EMM Explorer) and here (France’s defence ministry’s latest update in French)
- More Mali (3b) CBC’s Q&A about the whole fracas
- Safe travels, HMCS Toronto, on your Arabian Sea deployment! This from the Defence Minister: “…. Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Toronto deploys to conduct maritime security operations with a multinational coalition fleet in the Arabian Sea region. These deployments continue our strong tradition of making meaningful contributions to international security, and maintain our long-standing relationship of cooperation and interoperability with our allies. I want to thank the crew – Commander David Patchell, Commanding Officer of HMCS Toronto, the 225 personnel aboard and the CH-124 Sea King helicopter detachment – for their service, and wish them all fair winds and following seas.” – more on Operation ARTEMIS here, and from Halifax Shipping News here.
- Afghanistan Joshua Baker, 1985-2010, R.I.P. “Emotions ran high at the sentencing arguments Monday afternoon for a Calgary reservist killed in Afghanistan nearly three years ago. Janet Baker was one of six witnesses called by the prosecution to discuss the impact of the death of Cpl. Josh Baker and injuries to four others during a training accident. The process is designed to help the judge — a senior ranking military officer — decide the fate of Darryl Watts, who was found guilty at a court martial last month of negligent performance of military duty and unlawfully causing bodily harm. On Monday, Baker, who is the mother of Cpl. Josh Baker, sobbed as she described the day she learned of her son’s death as well as what it was like attending his ramp ceremony and funeral. She also talked about what life has been like for her since her son died. “I don’t really have a life anymore, it’s just an existence,” Baker said. “Two people died on the field that day — Joshua and myself.” ….” – more on the trial here.
- “The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, visited the North American Aerospace Defence Command Headquarters (NORAD) at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado (yesterday). Minister MacKay met with General Charles Jacoby, Jr., Commander NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, and other senior commanders to discuss aerospace defence. This visit also provided the opportunity for the Minister to visit with the Canadian Armed Forces’ members serving with NORAD in Colorado Springs …. The discussions focused on aerospace defence and Canada-U.S. defence cooperation in the Western Hemisphere ….”
- Somehow, I think they mean “small arms” in the last sentence here…. “Residents living in the area of Canadian Forces Base Edmonton may hear simulated gunfire and explosions in the coming weeks – but it is all part of training exercises for the Canadian military. Officials announced on Monday that field-training exercises will take place in the training area of CFB Edmonton, south of 195 Avenue and east of 97 Street – from Jan. 14 to March 31. Residents living in Lago Lindo and Klarvatten might hear simulated gunfire, and sounds consistent with low-level explosions – between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. each day. The exercises are part of a number of qualifying courses run by the Land Force Western Area Training Centre and 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. Those taking part will use small guns – with blank ammunition – and pyrotechnic devices throughout the exercise.”
- Usual caveat: Under Canada’s Charter of Rights & Freedoms, “Any person charged with an offence has the right …. to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal” “Canadian War Museum officials are “really pleased” a pair of 22-year-old Ottawa men have been charged in connection with racist vandalism that defaced an aircraft. Police announced charges against the two men more than four months after a swastika and a racist phrase were spray-painted on a CF-100 Avro aircraft stored outside the museum …. The vandalism was caught on camera. It showed two men arriving in separate dark-coloured vehicles shortly before 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 27. Police did not release details about the crime until mid-October, when surveillance images were released showing the suspected vandals. Joel Lendore and Simon Los have each been charged with one count of mischief under $5,000.” More in a brief Ottawa Police Service news release here, and from other media here.
- One activist’s take on CSIS and RCMP threat assessments “…. I want to highlight three main concerns expressed in the risk assessments undertaken by RCMP, CSIS, Indian Affairs, and right wing thinkers on Indigenous uprising that foreground Indigenous economic power. The first, is that a mishandling of conflict will galvanize coordinated efforts of First Nations across the country. Hence, the relatively hands-off approach taken until now. In the Federal Coordination Framework for the AFN Day of Action in 2007, their proposed solution in the case of coordinated mobilization is to “isolate the splinter group.” Second, that the economic cost of even a few hours of such coordinated efforts would be crippling and impossible to police given current resources. Third – and this is one of the most worrisome trends to observers – that solidarity and coordination between non-natives and Indigenous peoples will encourage the movement to build ….”
- “Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) will induct four new members and honour a Belt of Orion recipient at its 40th annual gala dinner and ceremony, to be held in Ottawa on May 30, 2013. Three of the recipients began their aviation careers in the Royal Canadian Air Force. The new members are: Victor R. Bennett, former Innotech Aviation chief executive; James “Stocky” Edwards, Second World War Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot and command leader; Joseph Fernand “Frank” Henley, former executive of Maritime Central Airways, Nordair and Hydro Quebec (and) John Sandford, former president of de Havilland Canada ….”