Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

Posts Tagged ‘Griffon News Highlights – 19 Jan 11

with one comment

  • Corporal Jean-Michel Déziel, R.I.P. “A soldier died at approximately 10:00 hrs Monday morning after falling from the roof of a building at CFB Valcartier. Corporal Jean-Michel Déziel, a member of the Headquarters and Signals Squadron, was in the process of installing a telecommunications antenna when the incident occurred. The soldier was immediately evacuated to the Laval Hospital, where he was pronounced dead ….” More from here and QMI Media here.
  • Taliban Propaganda WatchThe bad guys allege blowing up a Canadian “tank” in Panjwai – no confirmation on that.
  • Secret talks are underway in the Afghan capital and in the country’s south to replace the governor of a tumultuous district of Kandahar that is under Canada’s watch, The Canadian Press has learned. The backroom dealing centres around finding a replacement for the illiterate and mercurial Haji Baran, the current governor of Panjwaii. A security shura, or meeting of Afghan elders, was cancelled on Monday because Baran was in Kabul for meetings. Reached by telephone, Baran confirmed he was in the capital this week. Speaking in Pashto, he told a local journalist working for The Canadian Press that he has heard the talk that he will soon be replaced as Panjwaii’s governor. But Baran insisted he’s not going anywhere ….”
  • Canada’s military research arm has just published a military chronology of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan – downloaable here (via
  • Remember this guy who said an unarmed Afghan teenager had been killed by Canadian troops in 2007?  The investigation says not so. “The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), the independent investigative arm of the Canadian Forces Military Police, has concluded its investigation into the allegations made by Mr. Ahmadshah Malgarai before the House of Commons’ Special Committee on Afghanistan on April 14, 2010 with respect to his time spent employed as a language and cultural advisor in Afghanistan from July 2007 to July 2008. The CFNIS investigation determined that no service or criminal offences were committed ….” More from MSM outlets here, here, here, here, here and here (note the CBC’s choice of headline – “No proof of Afghan adviser’s shooting claims” – compared to the wording of the CF statement above).
  • CBC’s happy to be pretty declarative with this headline, though:  “JTF2 command ‘encouraged’ war crimes, soldier alleges“.   Note my highlights and what factoid is buried pretty far into the story “A member of Canada’s elite special forces unit says he felt his peers were being “encouraged” by the Canadian Forces chain of command to commit war crimes in Afghanistan, according to new documents obtained by CBC News.  The documents from the military ombudsman’s office show the member of the covert unit Joint Task Force 2, or JTF2, approached the watchdog in June 2008 to report the allegations of wrongdoing he had first made to his superior officers in 2006.  The soldier told the ombudsman’s office “that although he reported what he witnessed to his chain of command, he does not believe they are investigating, and are being ‘very nice to him,’ ” according to the documents, which CBC News obtained through access to information.  As such, the soldier alleged, the chain of command helped create an atmosphere that tolerated war crimes.  The ombudsman’s documents state the soldier was subsequently directed to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, CFNIS, which in turn launched its own investigation.  The CFNIS told the ombudsman the investigation was “now their No. 1 priority.”  The member alleged that a fellow JTF2 member was involved in the 2006 shooting death of an Afghan who had his hands up in the act of surrender. That CFNIS probe ended without any charges ….”
  • More reaction to Jack Layton’s criticism of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan“…. By making exactly all the wrong comparisons to the Second World War and the great struggle against fascism’s European variants, Mr. Layton forgets that if we were fighting now the way we fought back then we would have turned Islamabad into Dresden by now and Tehran would be the name of a city we’d mention in the same breath with Hiroshima. We would have already forgotten the “war in Afghanistan” because it would have been over long ago ….”
  • Canadians and Americans are working together in search ways to help wounded warriors heal, especially the wounds we don’t see“…. Lt. Col. Stephane Grenier, who returned from duty in Rwanda in 1994 isolated, depressed and eventually suicidal, said today’s language of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) puts too much emphasis on “combat.” Warfare has become the “culturally acceptable excuse,” but troops in any role can get an operational stress injury from fatigue, grief and moral stressors, he said. “What happens to the clerk who never steps outside Kandahar Airfield but whose job is to write those letters, write the inventory of the equipment being shipped back to mom and dad?” said Grenier, who now works on the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s peer project team. Grenier is among a group of Canadian and U.S. military experts who gathered Tuesday to collaborate on ways to help wounded soldiers. Canadian Forces physicians, psychiatrists, chaplains and injured soldiers met with their American counterparts to discuss innovative programs and treatments in a symposium at the University of Southern California called “Wounded Warriors – Healing the Mind, Body and Soul.” ….” More on the conference here.
  • Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopters won’t be available to cover central and parts of Western Canada and the North until at least 2014 because of ongoing problems that have plagued the aircraft fleet, according to newly released Defence Department documents. The use of the helicopters for such missions was temporarily suspended in 2005. But last year the Defence Department quietly extended that until 2014, according to the documents. The area in question, equal to a million square kilometres, extends from the Prairies to Quebec and includes the Northwest Territories and much of Nunavut. Instead, search-and-rescue crews flying out of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ont., will continue to use Griffon helicopters for those operations, despite critics’ warning that the smaller helicopter doesn’t have the capabilities for a large rescue operation …. “
  • Testing high-tech at Gagetown“The future face of Canada’s army is being defined this week at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. The scenario is being played out at the Combat Training Centre via computer war games based on a scenario in the Horn of Africa. Known as Capability Development Experiment 2010, it’s part of an effort to determine what shape this country’s ground forces will take by 2021. Lt.-Col. William Cummings, the experiment director, said the military is trying to validate what it describes as an “adapted dispersed operations scenario.” That involves four major events going on at the same time …. “
  • Anonymous source, but interesting information nonetheless – highlights mine.  “…. Security intelligence authorities are warning that exiled Tamil rebel leaders are re-establishing their violent Sri Lankan separatist movement in Canada. “We don’t know how far advanced it is, but their intent is pretty clear — to set up a base-in-exile here for the leadership. Some leadership is already here,” a well-placed federal government official told the Ottawa Citizen. The warning accompanied a report late last week to senior government officials revealing that two southeast Asian smuggling syndicates are arranging the launch of two more shiploads of Tamil migrants to British Columbia in the coming weeks. The boats are expected to carry as many as 50 former Tamil Tiger rebel leaders and fighters, according to intelligence estimates. “Why here? It doesn’t make any sense because it is much easier to go to Australia,” said the official. “This is the reason.” Two previous cargo ships, Sun Sea and Ocean Lady, arrived off the West Coast last year and in 2009 carrying a total of 568 migrants, including several men the government suspects are former rebels. “How many have made it through, how advanced they are is not clear, (but) we’re concerned,” said the official. “Canadians expect us to avoid becoming a haven for terrorists.” ….”
Advertisements News Highlights – 15 Jan 11

leave a comment » News Highlights – 15 Dec 10

leave a comment »

CF IN HAITI: CF Flying Canadians Outta HTI, Ships are On Their Way

leave a comment »

Some updates:

  • A new page is now available via the CF containing background information on OP Hestia here.
  • CanWest says, “The federal government has begun airlifting Canadians from Haiti, and may institute a humanitarian immigration program to allow hundreds or thousands of Haitians into Canada ….  The first 100 Canadians removed from Haiti by Canadian military are en route to Montreal via the Dominican Republic and are scheduled to arrive at 10:05 PM. ET Thursday at Pierre Trudeau International airport.” (More on that from here)
  • The CF says HMCS Halifax and HMCS Athabaskan are now on their way south to Haiti.
  • Last night, Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh expressed his opinion on the relief effort via Twitter: “Canada should be in Haiti faster and more than we are. Time to speed up, Mr Harper.”  Today, he’s refined his position:  “i understand Harper is responding well to the needs in Haiti.”  More discussion on that here at

For more news, check out these sites:

Any other good places to keep track of what’s happening?  Don’t be afraid to share.

HAITI: How’s Canada’s Military Helping?

leave a comment »

You’ve heard about the earthquake in Haiti.  Before I go into how the CF is helping, here’s some links to good news resources to keep track of what’d happening in Haiti:

If you know any other resources, PLEASE let us know via comments below – always happy to share.

As for the CF presence, it’s already got a name:  Operation HESTIA (reportedly named for the Greek godess of the hearth fire or fireplace).  They even have a web page to follow the military support.

Media and other open sources indicate the following:

Safe travels to all the folks headed to Haiti to help out.

More, as I have time to plug it in.

What’s So Bad About This?

leave a comment »

This story’s been running since Friday (, CanWest), with all sorts of associated comments.

The main elements:  CF helicopter crew flying west to home base in Quebec lands in baseball diamond in Kenora, Ontario, picks up some burger combos from A&W for the crew and another crew refuelling at Kenora airport, and heads off back to work.

Good exposure of the Canadian Forces, good face-to-face outreach, leaving a few bucks in a local economy, all good, right?

Well, let no good deed go unpunished, as they say – this, from

“A spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Saturday an investigation has been launched after a Canadian Forces helicopter pilot landed in Kenora recently – apparently to pick up some cheeseburgers.

“The matter is under investigation to determine what happened. As such, I can’t say much more until all the facts are gathered,” wrote Dan Dugas, the minister’s director of communications in an e-mail …. “First of all, at no time during the landing or takeoff was there a danger to the public,” he said in the e-mail. “The Forces thank the local police for securing the sports field for the helicopter’s landing.” “

Given the bit in red, as a taxpayer, I would be pissed off royally if more than one or two phone calls worth of CF staff time is spent explaining this to the political bosses.  Yes, political masters are where the buck stops.  That said, given the fact that safety was not an issue, and voices in online forums like saying such things are not unheard of, and can even save time and effort:

“One of the problems with cross-country flights is that a lot of the smaller airports that actually have jet fuel do not have a restaurant or other food source nearby. One can cab it into town or walk a couple of k, but that takes time. Two such meals can therefore kill a couple of hours, or the equivalent of one fuel hop.”

I don’t see any down side to this lunch stop – ya gotta eat, right?

Written by

4 October 09 at 7:58

Pat Audet, Martin Joannette, R.I.P.

leave a comment »

This, from a Canadian Forces statement:

“Two Canadian air crew members and one ISAF soldier were killed when a Canadian CH-146 Griffon helicopter crashed during take-off.  The incident occurred at a Forward Operating Base in Tarnak Va Jaldak, Zabul Province, northeast of Kandahar City at around 1:50 p.m., Kandahar time, on 6 July 2009.

Killed in action were MCpl Pat Audet from 430e Escadron tactique d’hélicoptères based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier and Cpl Martin Joannette from the 3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, near Quebec City.

Three other Canadian Forces members were injured in the crash, but were able to walk away from the crash site….”

Condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of the fallen,  and here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for the wounded.

Written by

7 July 09 at 7:05