Highlights – March 18, 2019

#CANinIRQ/Mid East – Op IMPACT

#LVA/Europe – Op REASSURANCE/Cold War 2.0


Way Up North

Internal Security

Big Honkin’ Ship Document Leak Case

What’s Canada Buying?

Sexual Assault/Harassment in the CF

Other Military News

#CHN/Pacific Rim

Advertisement News Highlights – October 14, 2014





  • “HMCS Toronto participates in Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION  — Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto joins Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION today as part of her Operation REASSURANCE NATO deployment in response to Russia’s aggressive military actions against Ukraine.  Toronto and other Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) warships will conduct Task Force training exercises and force integration activities in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea regions from October 13-26 ….”

Way Up North


World War One News Highlights – August 4, 2014 News Highlights – July 29, 2014 News Highlights – June 18, 2014 News Highlights – May 26, 2014 A.M. News Highlights – May 20, 2014 News Highlights – May 16, 2014 News Highlights – December 5, 2013

  • Please do what you can to spread the message that folks who are having a tough time this time of year don’t have to suffer alone – #sendupthecount – more here (Facebook) and here ( – disclosure:  I’m a moderator at
  • Sylvain Lelièvre, R.I.P.   What the PM has to say  “Prime Minister Stephen Harper has weighed in on the spate of apparent soldier suicides that have rocked the Canadian Forces in recent days.  Harper says everyone should encourage veterans in need to reach out to the support and systems that are there to help.  The prime minister’s comments came hours after the Defence Department confirmed the military police at CFB Valcartier in Quebec are investigating the death Tuesday of Master Cpl. Sylvain Lelievre, from the 3rd battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment.  Lelievre is the fourth soldier believed to have committed suicide since last week.  Lelievre joined the Canadian Forces in June 1985 and was deployed to Bosnia between 2001 and 2002, and again in 2004. He also served in Kandahar from 2010 to 2011 ….”
  • What the PM said during Question Period yesterday  “Mr. Speaker, once again, let me just say, I think that this applies to all members of the House of Commons, all of our thoughts and prayers are with all of the friends and families of those who have been touched by these recent suicides.  I think it is the responsibility of all of us to encourage those who need support, those who need help, to get that help. We should reach out to them and encourage them to do that. Those supports are available and we will make sure, of course, that they continue to be available to those people …. those services are available at Service Canada offices across the country. This government has invested far more in services for our veterans.  As I just said, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends who have been touched by these events. It is the responsibility of all of us to encourage those who need support to get that support. We understand the difficulties that our military personnel have faced, and services are available to them …. a number of programs and services are available for our soldiers and veterans. They include the Canadian Armed Forces military assistance program, military family resource centres, the operational stress injury social support program, and the road to mental readiness program.  There are more, but the most important thing is that we understand that what our soldiers go through is not easy. The work they do is very hard, very dangerous and full of very difficult experiences. I think it is important for all of us to encourage soldiers who need help to get that help.”
  • What the Defence Minister said during Question Period yesterday  “Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister indicated, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, colleagues, and friends of these individuals.  Suicide is a tragedy, and we have a role to play in reaching out to those who are hurting and encouraging them to get help. I know that the Canadian Armed Forces has a confidential 24/7 toll-free telephone advisory and referral service. I would urge all of those who are going through a crisis to reach out.  There is help. We all have a responsibility to make sure that they know that …. we all have a role to play in making sure that the services are there for our men and women in uniform and indeed for our veterans.  The member indicated that she would like to see more money spent on health care, more investment, and there certainly has been under this government. We have almost doubled the number of health care professionals.  We all do what we have to do to make sure that these individuals are approached and in making sure that they know help is there. I urge them to contact the armed forces to have the services that are in place made available to them …. it was under this government that we created a joint personnel support unit to allow our ill and injured members to work with medical personnel, social workers, occupational therapists and others to help them transition back into civilian life. However, again, one of the things the member could do is start supporting the efforts we have made over the years to increase help to our veterans. That would be a first step, and I certainly would welcome that …. The Chief of the Defence Staff and the Chief of Military Personnel have assured me that members of the Canadian Armed Forces are not released until they are prepared for that transition. I remind the member opposite that every possible accommodation is made to ensure that soldiers are kept in the forces and provided with the best possible support before being considered for release. This is the least we can do for them.”
  • What the Defence Minister has to say about mental health  “…. As Canadians and members of the Canadian Armed Forces, we must all be vigilant of our subordinates, peers, superiors and family members. We need to watch for changes in behaviour, be ready to listen to our friends and aid them in seeking care if we think they need it.  Often, peers and family members are the first to notice behavioural changes such as increased anxiety, anger, sadness, negativity, avoidance and substance-use that could lead to mental health difficulties. When we notice these changes, we must not be afraid to act – do not underestimate the impact you can have.  I encourage those in need to reach out to their families, peers, supervisors, padres and medical professionals. Help is available at your base and wing clinics, via the member assistance program (1 800 268 7708), at your local emergency room or by calling 911 ….”
  • What the Chief of Defence Staff has to say about mental health  “…. For those of you currently combating mental illness, don’t avoid or delay accessing support services and treatment. If you have thoughts of suicide, help is immediately available by calling 911. Expert help is also available at your base and wing clinics, via the member assistance program (1-800-268-7708) or at your local emergency room. Reach out to your friends, family members, leaders, padres and medical professionals for support.  Self-stigma regarding mental health must end. Just as you would expect to be helped by your colleagues on the battlefield if you were physically injured, your brothers and sisters in arms are with you in the fight against mental illness.  Care is available to each of us. From private to General, from recruit to retirement; we’re a team and we’re there to support each other.”
  • The chorus of voices calling for more government aid in support of soldiers and veterans is growing as army officials confirmed the death of a soldier as the fourth apparent military suicide in a week.  The Canadian Forces said an investigation is underway into the death of a soldier at CFB Valcartier in Quebec. The soldier — 46-year-old Sylvain Lelievre — was reportedly a member of the Royal 22e Regiment.  Last week, the apparent suicides of three other Canadian soldiers raised questions about the services and care offered to troubled soldiers and veterans ….”
  • Veterans’ advocacy group e-mail newsletter on how keen politicians are to meet with them or union reps to discuss VAC office closures  “…. Peter MacKay is one of 26 Members of Parliament we have asked for meetings with – each is being asked to go on the record opposing the closures and to help us stop them. We asked for that meeting in October, but MacKay has so far been unable to find time to meet, something Ron Clarke took up with staff in his office while they were there ….”
  • Remembering one of the wounded in the House of Commons  “Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to pay tribute to the courage and determination of Corporal Alexandre Beaudin-D’Anjou from Pont-Rouge, which is in my riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.  Corporal Beaudin-D’Anjou proudly served in Afghanistan, where he was seriously injured by an improvised explosive device on December 6, 2009.  That tragic experience left him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but now he is overcoming his difficulties and taking on a major challenge.  Currently en route to the South Pole, Corporal Beaudin-D’Anjou is one of two Canadians on Team Soldier On who are taking part in the UK’s South Pole Allied Challenge. He and his team, made up of other injured veterans, will cross-country ski 335 km over a period of more than two weeks, braving temperatures as low as -50C.  His bravery merits our respect. He is a role model for each and every one of us.  Good luck on your journey, Corporal Beaudin-D’Anjou, and thank you for your exemplary service.”
  • Philippines/typhoon  “He’s halfway around the world doing work he did not intend to do, but Sgt. Tom Baker feels blessed to be in the PhilippinesThe 46-year-old father of four recently left 14 Wing Greenwood and is currently posted with 8 Wing in Trenton, Ont., where he is an air traffic controller.  Shortly after Nov. 8, when typhoon Haiyan killed thousands in the Southeast Asian country, Baker was told his special unit could be headed there.  He is part of 8 Air Communication and Control Squadron, which is a deployable air traffic control and communications unit. They have the ability to set up runway lights, air control towers, radar and can essentially create airports where they are needed within 72 hours ….”
  • The Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) will participate in Exercise Amalgam Dart, December 3 to 5, 2013, off the Canadian Atlantic coast, to practice intercept and identification procedures, as well as air-to-air refueling, as part of routine training …. Royal Canadian Air Force participation in Amalgam Dart will include the following air assets:  CF-18 Hornets from 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec; A CP-140 Aurora from 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia; (and) A CC-130T Hercules from 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba.  The majority of the Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft will be based at 14 Wing Greenwood and 5 Wing Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, with the CC-130T Hercules flying out of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador ….”
  • Great pix of Canadian troops and planes taking part in Exercise Serpentex in Corsica – more info from the Info-machine here
  • Congrats!  Twenty years after she joined the Canadian Army, people still ask Major Eleanor Taylor why she chose the infantry.  “Why wouldn’t you choose the infantry?” she repliesLooking for adventure outside the town limits of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Maj Taylor’s career in the Army has taken her to Kosovo, Bosnia and, in 2010, to Afghanistan where she was the first woman to command a Canadian infantry company in combat.  Most recently, however, it’s taken her to Toronto where she and Lieutenant-Colonel Krista Brodie were named to Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 list, compiled each year by the Women’s Executive Network.  “Having been nominated is an example of the Army’s commitment to championing its leaders,” says LCol Brodie, a logistics officer, currently serving as the Chief of Staff of the Canadian Materiel Support Group.  “I joined the Army because I wanted to serve our nation in a meaningful way, and the Army has offered countless opportunities to contribute to Canadian society and to help others around the world.”  With 25 years of service in the Army, LCol Brodie has qualified as a Military Freefall Parachutist, deployed to Croatia, Bosnia and Afghanistan, and was the first woman to command 1 Service Battalion ….” – a “way to go” from Canada’s army boss here, and more on the list here
  • Congrats, also, to Captain(N) Jill Marrack Deputy Commander Naval Reserve Naval Reserve Headquarters, who also made it into the
    Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 list
  • Academic on who decides whether countries go to war  “Over the weekend, the Globe and Mail’s Doug Saunders issued a call for caution in light of recent events in the East China Sea and in Iran: that militaries may push civilians into unwanted and lengthy conflicts.  Using lessons gleaned from the experiences of the First World War, Saunders rightly notes that militaries lacking oversight can provide civilians with so few options that war seems like the only choice.  The problem is that he then extends his analysis to Afghanistan, a war where the timetables were so very clearly driven by politics in Kabul, in Brussels, in Washington, and in Ottawa ….”
  • Way Up North (1)  Academic on why Canada’s keen on getting dibs on the North Pole  “…. “First of all bragging rights, of course. But the more important, and the part that really gets to why we’re spending so much money doing it and why the Russians and the Americans and the Danes are doing it, is the potential for oil and gas,” he said.  “We don’t know what is on the soil and sub-soil and that’s really what we’re claiming, basically gas and oil. But once we start looking at the types of resources that we are starting to find closer to the coastline, there is significant suspicion that you are going to find a lot of oil and gas up in that region and it’s that suspicion, of the amount of resources that are there, that’s really driving this entire process,” (Arctic expert at the University of Calgary Rob) Huebert said ….” – more on the latest here
  • Way Up North (2a)  “Russian naval forces are set to make the Arctic a priority region, boosting combat training and scouting lesser-known areas of the icy territory in 2014, a navy spokesman said MondayThe Northern Fleet will conduct sailing and diving expeditions in the Arctic and develop a series of ice-class patrol ships to protect the country’s interest in the region, said Vadim Serga, a captain First Class and spokesman for the fleet’s Western Military District.  Russia has already begun deploying aerospace defense units and constructing an early missile warning adar system near the far northern town of Vorkuta. Completion of that system is planned for 2018 ….” – more here and here
  • Way Up North (3b)  Russian border guards are apparently getting specially-heated uniforms for the cold Arctic weather – click here if you can read Russian, here if you trust Google Translate
  • Way Up North (3)  “As China’s presence in the Arctic grows, international attention also grows. This paper clarifies China’s interests in the Arctic and touches on future trends in this regard ….”
  • Way Up North (4)  “The four U.S. senators from Washington and Alaska are seeking to authorize construction of as many as four new heavy-duty icebreakers, vastly expanding the Coast Guard’s beleaguered Seattle-based icebreaker fleet.But with a price tag of $850 million or more per vessel, the odds of Congress going along seem about as good as a snowball’s chance in the warming polar climate ….”
  • A bail hearing for a Canadian naval engineer accused of trying to send classified information on Canada’s shipbuilding strategy to China has been postponedQing Quentin Huang, 53, from Waterdown, Ont., appeared in a Toronto courtroom Wednesday, wearing a black shearling jacket over a blue button-down shirt.  He spoke briefly to his lawyers from the prisoner’s box before the matter was adjourned to Monday, Dec. 9 ….”
  • Libya  “The United States, Italy, Britain, and Turkey have agreed to train thousands of Libyan troops to counter the instability caused by the numerous and often opposing militias that remain powerful there more than two years after the overthrow of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi.  The United States will conduct its training in Bulgaria. Britain, Italy, and Turkey will theirs in their own countries. It is expected that current militia members will be among the recruits, although the United States will vet names supplied by the Libyan Defence Ministry to exclude hard-line Islamists.  Canada, which played an active role in the armed uprising against Gadhafi’s regime, has not said it will take part in this training mission. But Jean-Bruno Villeneuve, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, says Canada is “considering other ways to help further Libyan security sector reform.” ….”
  • Canada:  BAAAAD North Korea!  “Canada strongly condemns North Korea’s continued belligerence and provocative actions. I am pleased to announce that Canada will implement additional sanctions on North Korea, in accordance with United Nation Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2094.  This resolution, co-sponsored by Canada, sends a clear message that the international community will make every possible effort to halt the country’s reckless pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.  The current path of the regime will only result in further isolation.  North Korea continually scorns its international obligations, while ignoring the fundamental human rights of its people, who continue to suffer under its dictatorship ….”
  • From the “WTF?” File  “Giving Santa Claus and his reindeer a military fighter jet escort on Christmas Eve amounts to manipulative military marketing aimed at defenseless young minds, a Berkeley child psychologist says ….  NORAD, the joint U.S.-Canada military force that protects our skies as well as runs the beloved Santa Tracker each holiday season, is under fire. The reasons? A video that shows Santa and his reindeer accompanied by a military fighter jet escort ….” – more here
  • And NORAD’s response?  “As it has every year since 1955, the North American Aerospace Defense Command will be tracking Santa on his whirlwind journey to deliver presents to all the good little boys and girls around the world.  But he won’t be escorted by armed fighter jets.  When NORAD recently launched its yearly online Santa tracker, the site featured a video showing the jolly old elf being escorted by U.S. fighter jets “bristling with missiles,” as the Boston Globe put it.  That caused a minor earthquake in the Twitterverse about why Santa would need an armed escort. The answer: Russia.  But a NORAD spokesman confirmed to Military Times that the “missiles” are actually fuel tanks.  “Guilty as charged, we tried to give it a more operational feel this year; that was purposefully done to try to highlight our mission sets,” said Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis. “If you look at the second promo video we have where it talks through a mock training exercise, it really lays out what our different missions are and shows the different radar sets.”  So while NORAD will be tracking Santa’s flight this Christmas, if St. Nick gets into a tussle with some MiGs, his only defense will be the evasive capabilities of his reindeer ….”  At least it reduces the odds of this happening, I guess.
  • And what will be Canada’s contribution to Norad’s Santa tracking?  “The Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Region is set to track and escort Santa Claus during his annual visit to Canada and has selected four CF-18 fighter pilots for the high profile job.  Lieutenant-Colonel Darcy Molstad and Captain Sébastien Gorelov of 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron from 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec, will conduct the first escort duties to welcome Santa into Canada when they join him off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.  As Santa zooms across Canada and approaches the Ontario-Manitoba border, escort duties will switch to Captain Rich Cohen and Captain Brian Kilroy of 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron from 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta ….” News Highlights – October 16, 2013