Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight News Highlights – February 8, 2013

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  • Mali  Over one million (pounds) served by the RCAF!  “Canada’s air task force supporting the French government’s Operation Serval in Mali reached the one-million-pound milestone of transported materiel on the 19th day of operations.  The Canadian CC-177 Globemaster III, which is assisting French authorities, landed at 125 Air Base Istre-le-Tubé at Provence, southern France, on January 16. Less than 24 hours later, on January 17, Canadian military personnel began their transport operations to the Bamako airport in Mali.  Based on the French army’s needs, a variety of loads ranging from medical materiel and armoured vehicles to troops is being transported, demonstrating the CC-177’s great flexibility ….”
  • A Halifax navy intelligence officer will be sentenced later today for selling secrets to Russia.  Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle pleaded guilty last year to breach of trust and communicating information to a foreign entity that could harm Canada’s interests.  The Crown is seeking a prison sentence of at least 20 years, while the defence is asking for nine to 10 years.  Both agreed that Delisle should be fined $111,817, which was based on the amount of money Delisle collected from his Russian bosses over nearly five years.  The 41-year-old Delisle was arrested in January 2012 and became the first person to be charged under the Security of Information Act ….” – more here.
  • A reminder from the Vets’ Ombudsman following the release of a report on depleted uranium  “…. Annex F of the report, Chronic Symptom-based Illnesses Following Wars, starts with the sentence: “A condition frequently reported after military conflicts is characterized by persistent symptoms for which physical examination and laboratory testing is often unrevealing.” The acknowledgement that some Veterans are suffering from symptoms that science cannot currently explain is important.  What must not be forgotten here is that many CF members go on mission healthy but return from duty ill for unknown reasons. That is a fact that must be acknowledged by Veterans Affairs Canada. The needs of these suffering Veterans must be addressed even if science cannot explain the cause of their symptoms.”
  • Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Secretary speaks to the depleted uranium report in the House of Commons  “…. In 2010 our government called upon an independent scientific body to be struck. That body has committed more than 1,500 volunteer hours and has just produced a report. I would like to thank Dr. Morisset for that report.  That report was posted on the Veterans Affairs website. I tabled it earlier today here in the House of Commons. The parliamentary committee can review that report.  This is not a matter for political interference. This is scientific evidence.”
  • A bit of debate in the House on the cost of veterans’ funerals
  • National Defence plans to cut back on the number of military families it forcibly relocates every year.  This comes after the military ombudsman raised concerns in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen last week about the financial and emotional costs borne by military families being transferred on a regular basis.  The move will also save the Defence Department money as it looks at between $1.1 billion and $2.5 billion in spending cuts over the coming years.  Military personnel and their families can face half a dozen or more moves over the course of a career due to operational and training requirements, promotions and a variety of other reasons.  National Defence covers most of the cost of a forced transfer, but the moves can still be stressful for military families, particularly those with children, because they have to pick up and move everything each time.  The relocations can also create financial hardships as families sell houses on extremely short notice, sometimes resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars ….” – more on how hard it can be here and here.
  • Remember this video shown at a mess dinner?  The investigation is now done  “…. “The Canadian Forces Military Police takes all allegations of inappropriate and improper conduct seriously.  We have investigated the allegations to determine the facts; we have analyzed the evidence and concluded that charges are not warranted,” said Colonel Tim Grubb, Canadian Forces Provost Marshal.  “This investigation further determined that the Royal Canadian Air Force chain of command took prompt and appropriate administrative and corrective actions once this video was brought to its attention.” ….” – more here
  • This from the boss of the RCAF on the video fracas  “…. appropriate actions were taken by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) chain of command once it became aware of this issue. This included the ban on any further showing of the video, the destruction of all known copies at 14 Wing Greenwood, and the communication of apologies to those who may have been offended.  Regardless, I must reiterate that the creation of this video showed poor judgement and a lack of sensitivity clearly contrary to the standards I and all Canadians expect of our military members ….”
  • HMCS Athabaskan was moved deeper into the dockyard, sometime in the past few weeks. It appears that whatever refit work was remaining is either complete or being done concurently with the re-attachment of the kit that was removed prior to refit. Some Antenas that were removed can be seen in place ….”
  • Column  The Harper government’s new plan to strip citizenship from immigrant Canadians who commit terrorist acts may or may not be good policy. But it is splendid politics.  The move will have broad public support and will put the opposition parties in an awkward spot, forced to choose between acquiescing in another Tory anti-crime measure, or defending the civil rights of Canadians who commit the most egregious crimes ….”

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8 February 13 at 7:45

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