- Could the CF be back at ‘er in Manitoba for flooding again soon? “The City of Winnipeg has 1.5 million sandbags ready as part of its plan for what may be the area’s worst flood since 1997. Randy Hull, the emergency preparedness co-ordinator, said Friday that the most recent flood forecast issued by the province required no change in plans. Hull said Winnipeg is much better prepared than it was prior to the 1997 flood ….”
- Timothy James Wilson, 1975-2006, R.I.P. “A southern Afghanistan field base named after a slain Canadian soldier will soon be getting a new Afghan title, but a ceremony on Friday ensured Master Cpl. Timothy Wilson’s presence at the facility will live on. The service at Forward Operating Base Wilson was called to unveil a new memorial plaque that will hang beside the site’s helicopter landing zone. The idea to dedicate the area to Wilson came from his mother, Jane, who wrote a letter to the base leaders earlier this year ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged across RC South, and a “you gotta admit we’re still winning” statement for the Afghan new year.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) – Lookit all the information & fact sheets the CF has out on the F-35.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) – “The first taste of war for the F-35 joint strike fighter is years ahead, if ever, but the Lockheed Martin-developed-and-built jet is engulfed in political combat. Pentagon officials Thursday ordered General Electric and Rolls-Royce to stop work on an alternative engine for the F-35, a move that congressional critics said won’t be the last word on the subject. And Canada’s Parliament is expected to vote today on a no-confidence motion that would topple the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and force new elections, in part because opponents say the administration has not been honest about the cost of buying F-35s ….”
- “Mr. Blake C. Goldring, Chairman and CEO of AGF Management Limited, was formally recognized as the Honorary Colonel of the Army at a ceremony (Saturday) at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. The ceremony was presided over by Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Commander of Canada’s Army. “The tradition of Honorary Colonels within the Canadian Army dates back to the 13th Battalion of Infantry in 1895. In today’s context, having influential Canadians in that capacity enhances the Army as a collective. Honorary Colonel Goldring has been a staunch supporter of the Army and Canadian soldiers,” said Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Chief of the Land Staff. “I am very pleased that he will continue to be associated with us as the first ever Honorary Colonel of the Army. This new position will only compliment our already formidable Honorary Colonel network in maintaining the strongest possible links between the Army and Canadian citizens …. “
First, we hear there’s more process than first expected.
Now, we hear this from a Canadian officer, with the quote buried in a story about interpreters in general:
…. “There’s been a gradual rise of local nationals who work for ISAF who have been murdered,” said Canadian Army Capt. Terry Maccormac, who, as a mentor to the Afghan army, works closely with Afghan interpreters and the 1-12 on Forward Operating Base Wilson.
An Afghan interpreter working for Canadian military mentor teams in Kandahar was murdered by the Taliban in January, according to Canwest news service. He was the first known interpreter working with Canadian forces to be killed by the Taliban, although other translators have died in roadside bomb attacks. Maccormac said the Canadian government issued a classified report this winter warning that the Taliban has begun targeting Afghans working with ISAF.
“It’s common knowledge that any of the local nationals who work for ISAF could be killed,” he said. “And these guys [interpreters] all know it as well, and that’s why their names are kept very secure.” ….
Anyone speeding things up a bit more? Anyone?
I preface this by admitting that there’s probably HEAPS more hurdles and process than I can see from the outside looking in when it comes to getting the CF’s message out to the public. I also know the individual CF public affairs people I’ve dealt with are passionate about getting the good word out there.
All that said, I’ve pointed out some areas where the CF comms machine might do a better job in selling the outstanding work the soldiers/sailors/air folks are doing in the field, maybe even picking up some best practices from military establishments alreading doing interesting things. I’m still seeing things that make me scratch my head, though.
For example, on Canada’s Expeditionary Forces Command (CEFCOM), we read about the good work being done by troops in general, and engineers in particular, on an operation almost a month after the operation happened.
Meanwhile, I stand to be corrected, but I’ll bet a donation to Wounded Warriors that these stories and photos from ISAF Public Affairs about Canadians didn’t take a month to get out there on the Internet:
Canadian Medic Returns to Kandahar to Mentor Afghan National Army
Story by Pvt. Luke Rollins, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan – Surviving just one tour in Southern Afghanistan is no mean feat. Many of the world’s best and brightest soldiers have fought and died here, and still more return home irrevocably shaken. There are among us, however, soldiers whose mettle has been cast in the furnaces of war, and who feel it is their duty to return, having emerged battle-tested and knowledgeable.
Army Cpl. Corey Sagstuen, a combat medic currently serving in a Canadian Operational Mentor and Liaison Team, is one such soldier. In 2007 he deployed to the Kandahar province with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in the Pan’jwai District. Now, he has returned to Kandahar’s Zhari district on the opposite side of the Arghandab River to lend his skills and experience to his fellow Canadian soldiers and Afghan national army soldiers alike.
There are a lot of green medics coming to Afghanistan, and it’s a bad place to make mistakes, said Sagstuen, an Edmonton, Alberta, native. Making sure they get back in one piece is how I make a difference, he said….
A Spirited Cook Dedicated to the Morale, and Stomachs, of Canadian and U.S. Troops in Southern Afghanistan
Story by Pvt. Luke Rollins, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan – An old military maxim says, “An army marches on its stomach, not its feet.” The Forward Operating Base Wilson dining facility has two armies, American and Canadian, to feed and keep marching to their missions in southern Afghanistan’s Zhari District.
The FOB Wilson dining facility features an all-military cooking team with members from the Canadian and American armies. Leading this team is Sgt. Karen Jones, a military cook with 23 years of service behind her.
“It’s been a unique experience for our American counterparts, because they’re not afforded the same kind of training or time on the kitchen decks that we are. We do this all the time as Canadians,” said Jones, whose home unit is 3 Area Support Group at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.
Under Canadian mentorship, Jones said, the Americans have done and learned things which many of their peers and seniors haven’t….