Inbox Highlights, 27 July 2018

July 2018 Toronto Mass Shooting/#TorontoShooting
Attacks on CF in Canada
#CANinIRQ/Surrounding  Neighbourhood – Op IMPACT
What’s Canada Buying?
Way Up North
The Koreas
Other Military News

Advertisement News Highlights – January 8, 2015

#CharlieHebdo Attack


Internal Security

Way Up North



Veterans & Helping Veterans


  • Canadian Military Journal article“Just how advanced have ground-based unmanned weapons systems become and what military advantages do they now provide? Today, Gary Martinic reviews the rapidly developing capabilities of these systems and assesses their future impact on ground warfare ….”
  • From the RCAF Info-machine  “16 Wing (Borden) “In Focus” “ News Highlights – August 17, 2014 News Highlights – April 29, 2014 News Highlights – December 18, 2013 News Highlights – October 7, 2013

Wanna keep abreast of whazzup in Syria?

I thought I’d share a few links I’m using to keep track of what’s going on in Syria

If you have any other decent sources to share, feel free to mention them in the comments – always welcome. News Highlights – November 14, 2012

  • Joshua Baker, 1985-2010, R.I.P.  The Calgary reservist charged with manslaughter in the death of a soldier in Afghanistan entered not guilty pleas Tuesday morning on the first day of his court martial trial.  Maj. Darryl Watts is on trial and alleged to have been negligent in the friendly fire death of Edmonton-based Cpl. Joshua Baker in Afghanistan in 2010 at a training range outside of Kandahar City.  Watts, an 11-year Calgary firefighter and reservist with the King’s Own Calgary Regiment, is scheduled to be on trial for up to five weeks at the Mewata Armoury.  The prosecution alleges that Watts was in charge during a live fire training exercise with a weapon called the C19. It is a mix of plastic explosives and 700 ball bearings.  When detonated that day, Feb. 12, 2010, the weapon killed Baker and injured four others ….” – more here, here and here.
  • Afghanistan (1)  More medals being presented by the GG, including one to a soldier who rescued an Afghan man and his son under fire in April of last year.
  • Afghanistan (2)  Review of “Afghanistan:  Requiem for a Generation”  “It was a moving evening of tributes to the fallen, remembrance of sacrifice, and commemoration of the daily grief experienced for loved ones by those left behind.  The cornerstone work at the Calgary Philharmonic’s War and Peace Festival featured the world premiere of composer Jeffrey Ryan and librettist Suzanne Steele’s emotionally powerful Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation.  It is rare to have a commission of this magnitude, the largest in CPO history. Ryan was supported by the Canada Council and Steele, chosen as the first official War Artist in the Canadian Forces Artist Program, was embedded with the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Afghanistan.  The Requiem intermixed the Latin text headers for each movement with Steele’s English poetry, and included some French and Pashto. Images taken from the Afghan missions were projected upon two large screens over the stage. Ryan offered a balanced score, with equal opportunity for all participants to shine, including four vocal soloists and orchestra members, with particularly outstanding contributions from the CPO Chorus and the Cantaré Children’s Choir. ….”
  • War Monument Vandalism in Toronto  On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Mississauga–Brampton South, (yesterday) inspected the recently vandalized Victory Peace War Memorial at Coronation Park.  “Our cenotaphs and war memorials are powerful symbols of our national remembrance and must be respected and maintained,” said Minister Blaney. “Disgraceful and disrespectful acts of vandalism like this need to be addressed. That is why our Government is proud to support Bill C-217, which will increase penalties for those convicted of these heinous crimes.”  “Seeing our local war memorials treated with such disrespect is incredibly troubling, especially on such an important day of national remembrance,” said Parliamentary Secretary Adams. “I am pleased to be here today to see that this memorial has been restored to its honoured state.” ….” – more here.
  • Remember the food complaints from vets living in a Halifax nursing home?  Here’s the latest from a column in the home-town newspaper, whose author has a copy of a review, but isn’t sharing it with the public yet:  “…. allow me to reveal a few recommendations from the report:  Switch from individual packets of condiments to table-size bottles.  Change servers’ uniforms from hospital garb to “hospitality” outfits.  Serve salads from a big bowl.  The report cost $13,500. Unfortunately, the main problem — reheating day-old food — is only something to “explore” in the “medium term,” which isn’t defined. And in the “longer term,” which also isn’t defined, the report muses about renovating the kitchen and hiring a chef for the vets ….”
  • This from an independent MP’s (harsh?) take on CBC’s handling of a Bin Laden satire video from a mess dinner:  “…. By engaging in yellow journalism and irresponsibly disseminating it for the world to see, the CBC hurt Canada’s image, our military’s image, and unnecessarily offended Arab’s around the world. By spinning this and putting it out for international consumption, the CBC is propagating racism. They took a video that was internal, personal, and limited to a very few, and turned it into an outward Canadian racial attitude for the rest of the world to believe.  By calling upon CBC comedian Shaun Majumder – a visible minority – to speak out on the supposed ‘cultural insensitivities’ of this video is the height of hypocrisy, as Shaun has portrayed bin Laden as an Arab himself. The CBC attempted to detonate a racist scandal where there simply was none to be found …. In the face of this incident, we have to thank the men and women of our Canadian military who were doing nothing more than relieving themselves of the endless stresses of their jobs with a little bit of black comedy that from time to time many people of all races of all countries enjoy, and ended up showing us where the evil truly exists in this country – the CBC headquarters ….”  I wouldn’t go as far as that last bit, but it is an interesting point about Majumder – here’s his take on Osama during H1N1 season, and here’s an Osama goodbye video Majumder headlines in.  You be the judge.
  • The Honourable Gail Shea, acting Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, (yesterday) presented the second of the Canadian Coast Guard’s new Hero class vessels, the CCGS Caporal Kaeble V.C.  The CCGS Caporal Kaeble V.C. is the second of the Coast Guard’s new Hero class of mid-shore patrol vessels being built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Kaeble was officially delivered to Coast Guard by Irving this November.  The new vessel is named after the late Corporal Joseph Kaeble, V.C. who was born in St. Moise, Quebec in 1893. He enlisted in 1916 and was a member of the famed Royal 22nd Regiment.  Corporal Kaeble died of wounds near Arras, France on June 9, 1918, after he single-handedly repelled a strong enemy attack on Canadian lines. Kaeble was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions, the first French-Canadian to receive this distinguished military decoration ….” – more on Cpl. Kaeble here and here, and on the story here and here. News Highlights – November 13, 2012

  • Remembering (1)  From one soldier’s take on Remembrance Day  “…. I noticed a Korean War Veteran pin on his jacket, so I asked him if he served in Korea and he said yes. So I thank him for his service, telling him that I am Korean and I appreciate what he did. This veteran became a bit emotional, because he could see the product of his sacrifice; a living proof that what he did was worth it. A Korean-Canadian who had the opportunity to live in liberty and freedom, because of him and other Canadians who served in Korea. If it weren’t for veterans like him, my father would not have had the choice to seek a better life for his family by immigrating to Canada. And the time gap between his tour in Korea to this event was more than 50 years ….”
  • Remembering (2)  “…. It is not about victory or military prowess and national accomplishment, still less about victims and criminals. It is about people who died. To label them heroes or victims, to enlist them in some political debate, robs them of their humanity. Remembrance Day is about Harry Cherry and Pat McCarty and 100,000 others. The debates about war and peace will rage on, but let the dead have their two minutes ….”
  • Column:  “Ottawa glorifies veterans — as long as they don’t cost anything
  • Toronto War Memorial Vandalism Being Looked at as a Hate Crime – CBC was a little behind the others , but they too now have the story.
  • CBC talks to a bunch of folks about defence spending  “Shrinking budgets in the years ahead is leading to questions about what kind of military Canada will have ….”
  • Joshua Baker, 1985-2010, R.I.P.  It was longest nine hours of Jim Scott’s life, from hearing his son was critically injured in an explosion, to learning the 24-year-old artillery soldier might just survive.  The news from Afghanistan was grim — a mine had gone off at close range, the blast peppering Bombardier Dan Scott and his close friend Cpl. Josh Baker with 700 steel balls.  Baker died quickly, even as Scott held his buddy’s hand in the ambulance. Scott was torn open by the mine, his internal organs shredded by the lethal shrapnel.  And for horrified family back in Canada, the nightmare grew worse.  Accurate news was hard to come by from the far-off theatre of war, and at first, the injuries sounded minor.  But then Dan’s condition was downgraded to very serious — the worst condition possible before death.  The commanding officer, who’d come to the family home to say Bombardier Scott was hurt but OK, left to put on the formal uniform required to break the news of death, if needed ….”        
  • Good point  “Last week the CBC got its hands on an amateur video produced by some of our soldiers for a comedy night at a military base in Nova Scotia back in 2010.  It was a short, four-minute spoof making fun of Osama Bin Laden’s older brother, “Eugene.”  The CBC says it got this video last month. But it sat on it for weeks, in order to release it as a big, breathless exclusive right before Remembrance Day.  It’s obvious why. It was the CBC’s way of showing what it thinks of our Canadian Forces: That they’re a bunch of racist pigs.  The CBC said the video was an exclusive. But it actually wasn’t. Because the CBC called the military police to come watch the video at the CBC offices. The CBC isn’t just reporting on this “scandal.” It is pitching it to the police, with the implication that the police should lay charges.  The CBC isn’t even pretending to be reporters. It is an anti-military activist ….”  The CBC called the Military Police to see some video?  One wonders if the CBC would have been as co-operative if civilian cops asked for video shot by the CBC?
  • Way Up North (1)  U.S. Coast Guard wraps up big Alaskan exercise ….
  • Way Up North (2) …. while Indian analysts mull why they should be interested in the Arctic, too        
  • When it comes to trust, a new Environics survey finds Canadians rank near the bottom of the pack — among citizens of 26 countries in the Americas — in having faith in their leaderThe survey found Prime Minister Stephen Harper scores a rating of “a lot of trust” from only 16 per cent of Canadians.    According to the Globe and Mail, that same survey finds we have a more peachy view of the Canadian Armed Forces. 53 per cent of respondents gave a thumb’s up to the military, compared to only 36 per cent for the RCMP.  The Prime Minister wasn’t the only one to get a low mark.  Parliament got a rating of only 17 per cent, just one percentage point ahead of Harper.  Those of composing these stories in the mass media rated even more poorly, with a a trust rating of only 6 per cent.”
  • Attempts to bundle several civil suits filed against convicted killer and former Canadian Forces colonel Russell Williams and his estranged wife will take another step forward this week.  Lawyers handling the case are anticipating a draft order seeking permission to compile the multiple suits under one umbrella will make its way to the regional senior justice for approval later this week.  The lawyers are calling for a Kingston, Ont., adjudicator to case manage the mounting files detailing damages sought by various victims.  Williams is serving life in prison in Kingston. He was convicted in October 2010 of sexually attacking two Tweed, Ont., women and the first-degree murders of Cpl. Marie- France Comeau, 37, of Brighton, Ont., and Jessica Lloyd, 27, of Belleville. He was also convicted of dozens of break-and-enters and thefts in Belleville, Tweed and Ottawa.  Administrative hiccups have been blamed for the slowed progression of the matter to its current stage, since Justice Robert Scott consented to recusing himself from the suit in September, agreeing that a Kingston judge handle claims being filed by plaintiffs and defendants in the multimillion-dollar civil suit ….”      
  • No word on the obtained report being shared, so no word on what else is there, when the report was even produced  The Public Safety Department worries Canada is becoming a digital launching pad for – not just a target of – malicious cyber-activities, confidential briefing notes reveal.  Traditionally, most cybercriminals are known for plotting their online schemes in places like Eastern Europe, East Asia and Africa, say departmental notes prepared for a closed-door meeting of the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security.  “This may be shifting to more developed countries such as Canada, the U.S. and France – countries with good reputations,” say the notes, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.  “Plainly said, we may be moving from being mostly ‘targets’ of organized cybercrime hosted in outside jurisdictions, to ‘hosts’ of online cybercrime operations and activities.”  The notes were drafted for an introductory discussion by Brett Kubicek, Public Safety’s manager of research and ac ademic relations, at the roundtable’s June meeting.  The roundtable, which com-rises members of various ethnic backgrounds, tries to foster dialogue on security issues between government officials and minority communities.  “When it comes to cyberspace, it’s likely that the flow of questions facing policy-makers will continue to outpace readily available and clear solutions for the foreseeable future,” say Kubicek’s notes.  His comments followed an explicit warning from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service about homegrown websites that support and incite terrorist violence ….”      
  • Something from the U.S. DHS, via from April 2011  “This Assessment examines terrorist threats to the Marine Transportation System (MTS) relevant to the U.S. and Canadian maritime borders, and updates unclassified judgments from the 2007 Canadian Integrated Threat Assessment Centre (ITAC) product, “Terrorist Threat to the Canadian Maritime Sector,” and the 2008 USCG Intelligence Coordination Center product, “National Maritime Terrorism Threat Assessment.” The information is provided in support of the activities of the Department and to assist federal, state, and local government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials in effectively deterring, preventing, preempting, or responding to maritime terrorist attacks against the United States and Canada.  This document provides an updated baseline for MTS threats to support the activities of the Department and assist other federal, state, and local government agencies and authorities; the private sector; and other entities, both in implementing joint U.S. and Canadian strategies for northern border security ….”
  • On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, (yesterday) announced the designation of Canada’s participation in the Royal Flying Corps as an event of national historic significance …. During the First World War, nine facilities were set up in Canada that trained 11,928 air force personnel of all ranks for the Royal Flying Corps (later the Royal Air Force), many of whom, after the war, would provide the foundation for the development of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Canadian airmen made a vital contribution to the success of the Royal Flying Corps’ war effort. Prominent members of the Royal Flying Corps included two recipients of the highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross: William Avery Bishop, with 72 credited victories, the second highest total in the Royal Flying Corps; and, William Barker, with 50 victories and one of the most decorated Canadian serviceman in history.  This new designation will be included in Canada’s system of national historic sites, persons and events, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada ….” News Highlights – 4 July 12

  • Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!
  • Safe travels!  Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina depart(ed) Esquimalt (yesterday) at 11 a.m. for the Arabian Sea region. HMCS Regina will replace HMCS Charlottetown on Operation Artemis, Canada’s contribution to Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) to conduct maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea region …. Operation Artemisis the Canadian Forces’ (CF) participation in maritime security and counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian Sea region with the multinational CTF 150 ….”
  • Keeping the 20mm Gatling Gun going on HMCS Charlottetown  “Weapons for fighting, radar for detection and navigation, the horizon-reference system that helps the Sea King helicopter land safely — all these systems are under the care of the Combat Systems Engineering (CSE) Department, which handles much of the crucial maintenance involved in keeping a ship combat-ready at sea. One piece of kit aboard HMCS Charlottetown is all too familiar to the members of the CSE Department: the Mk 15 PHALANX 20-mm Close-In Weapon System, abbreviated “CIWS” and known to most as the Sea Whiz ….”
  • Pacific Rim exercise to have Canadian air boss  “It’s not very often you see a brigadier-general in the Royal Canadian Air Force wearing a flying suit at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. Yet as he prepared to deploy to Hawaii last week, Brigadier-General Mike Hood, an air combat systems officer by trade, looked every bit the career aviator returning to his roots. For the next month, BGen Hood will do what no other RCAF officer has ever done. He will command the air component of the largest naval exercise in the world – Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) – taking place in Hawaii (having started) on June 29 ….”
  • Two Vandoos talk to businessmen about unlimited liability  “The first time I heard the phrase “unlimited liability,” about an hour ago, a slight shiver went up my spine. We do everything to avoid such a predicament. Car insurance, health insurance, mortgage/income/life insurance. Noncompetes, nondisclosures, incorporation, employment contracts. You name it, we limit our liability to it. The last thing we want is to be subjected to unlimited liability. Unless we’re in the military. Then it describes the nature of military service. When everyone else runs from disaster, these women and men enter the fray. While the rest of us are grabbing the silverware, they are heading, contrary to their natural instincts, into the conflict zone. They don’t limit their exposure to risk. They face losing their lives as part of their jobs. They face unlimited liability ….”
  • In a ceremony held …. at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Mr. Chris Alexander, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, presented Colonel Homer Tien, a Canadian military trauma surgeon, with the Canadian Forces Major Sir Frederick Banting Term Chair in Military Trauma Research …. Past Canadian Forces (CF) research into the management of blood flow and multiple trauma contributed to a 97 per cent survival rate for CF soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen who were evacuated to the Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Kandahar with vital signs. The CF has long embraced a collaborative care model, maintaining close relationships with the medical services of military partners and with civilian care providers such as Sunnybrook Hospital, to ensure that ill and injured CF personnel receive the best care possible ….”
  • What’s Canada Buying?  While it’s not the biggest procurement question the Department of National Defence faces, DND has outspent the rest of the government four-to-one on hockey pucks and wrist bands over the last five years. The federal government reported spending more than half a million dollars on promotional pucks, sports jerseys, plastic wrist bands and golf balls from 2007 to 2012, according to reports tabled in the House of Commons. Of the nearly $530,000 reported spent on these items from all departments and agencies for that period, $438,385 came from DND and the Canadian Forces. The Canadian Forces used the items to develop visibility for the work it does, DND spokesman Christian Tessier said in an email ….”  The same certainly can’t be said for orange stress balls, can it?
  • Public Safety Minister: Way to go on nailing another one of those CBSA list guys!  “The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, commended the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal and Canada Border Services Agency today on the arrest of Mohamed Ratni, in Montréal. “This individual is wanted for violation of human or international rights under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act or under international law. His arrest signals our government’s ongoing commitment to protecting Canadians and the safety of our communities”, said Minister Toews. “With the cooperation of police departments across the country, the success of the ‘Wanted by the CBSA’ program demonstrates that Canada will not be a haven for those who try to enter or live here illegally. The Government of Canada remains committed to identifying, detaining and removing those individuals who pose a threat to the safety and security of Canadians.” Ratni is the 26th individual apprehended from “Wanted by the CBSA” list. Since the launch of the list on July 21, 2011, the CBSA has removed 19 of these individuals from Canada ….”
  • “On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for York–Simcoe …. announced up to $55,856 in Federal Government funding for two memorials in Newfoundland and Labrador to honour Veterans and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice ….”
  • Any media interested in paying ~$2700 per person to head to Dieppe next month?  “The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, will lead an official delegation to France to mark the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. Commemorative ceremonies will take place between August 18 and 20, 2012, where at least 500 guests are expected, including Canadian Veterans who participated in the Dieppe Raid, a Canadian Forces contingent and Canadian cadets and scouts. Joining the delegation of Veterans and attending this unique event offers you and your organization the opportunity to profile the stories of remarkable individuals and to cover one of the darkest periods of the Second World War, but one where the lessons learned served to play an important role in later actions ….”