Posts Tagged ‘New Veterans Charter’
- Remember the Memorial Ribbon announcement yesterday? It appears to be gone now (except for a few media outlets that ran with it early here and here, at Army.ca for discussion, and here (PDF) for posterity). Hmmmm…..
- Remembrance Day “So far this year we’ve been spared the almost annual clash between the custodians of the red Remembrance Day poppy and anti-war activists who promote the white poppy of peace ….”
- Veterans getting a lot of mention in the House of Commons these days – more from Hansard here, here, here and here.
- The Applebees restaurant chain is offering a free meal on November 11th to veterans – I especially love Army.ca owner Mike Bobbitt’s idea of donating what the meal would have cost to the Soldier On fund.
- Poochies helping those with hidden wounds. “Dave Desjardins says he’s convinced a Rottweiler named Maggie helped save his life. The 41-year-old retired soldier was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder in 2005, a few months after he returned from Afghanistan. When he first met the dog last year, he was addicted to morphine and afraid to leave his home for anything more than a quick cigarette in the backyard ….”
- Toronto Star articles on dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and how DRDC labs are helping.
- Libya Mission Softball question in the House of Commons on when the troops are coming home from the Libyan theatre o’ operations: “Mr. Speaker, earlier this year Canada responded rapidly and strongly after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to protect civilians who were being attacked by the Gadhafi regime in Libya. In less than 24 hours CF-18s were airborne from 3 Wing Bagotville en route to their operating base in Trapani, Italy, along with strategic air-to-air refueling support from 8 Wing Trenton’s Polaris aircraft. Canada also sent a frigate to patrol the central Mediterranean. Could the associate minister of national defence please inform the House when our heroes are coming home?” I guess the Conservative member for Chatham-Kent—Essex missed the news release here, not to mention all the media advisories here, here and here.
- While troops return from Libya, veterans will be pressing for better benefits. “There will plenty of celebration Friday and Saturday as cabinet ministers travel to air-force bases around the country to welcome home Canadian Forces personnel from a mission in Libya that saw rebels overthrow long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The 630 members of Canada’s military are returning home from Operation Mobile and NATO-led Operation Unified Protector, which saw them enforce an arms embargo and a no-fly zone around the North African nation for most of this year. Julian Fantino, the Associate Minister of National Defence, has been dispatched to Bagotville, Que., to greet troops Friday afternoon. Chris Alexander, the parliamentary secretary to the Defence Minister, will be waiting for them on Friday night in Trenton, Ont. And Defence Minister MacKay will be at 14 Wing Greenwood in Nova Scotia on Saturday, an event that was delayed by weather. At exactly the same time that Mr. MacKay is shaking hands with the folks getting off the plane from Libya, veterans from Afghanistan and other conflicts will be on Parliament Hill protesting what they say are unfair benefits for people who have put their lives on the line for their country. It is the second Veterans National Day organized by Canadian Veterans Advocacy against the New Veterans Charter, which the group says discriminates against military personnel who were injured after April, 2006 – a time when Canada suffered most of the casualties in Afghanistan ….”
- Afghanistan (1) CBC columnist reminds us Canada’s still at war in Afghanistan, training mission or not. “…. the reality is that while Canada’s military pulled out of a costly, direct combat role this summer, it is now plunging even deeper into the real heart of the war ….”
- Afghanistan (2) Kandahar handover more than just handing over the keys (via the CF Info-Machine).
- Afghanistan (3) “The Government of Canada is one of the most generous donors to the World Food Programme globally and also in Afghanistan ….” (via the World Food Programme Info-Machine)
- Taliban Propaganda Watch Mullah Omar: Guys, guys, guys – you want to get at least a bit of a grip on the civilian casualties? (links to non-terrorist web page)
- Kevin Megeney, 1982-2007, R.I.P. “Final submissions heard at ex-reservist’s court martial” (via The Canadian Press on CTV.ca)
- Stuart Langridge, R.I.P. “Shaun Fynes bristles as he recalls the Canadian military’s treatment of his son, Cpl. Stuart Langridge. “They threw Stuart away like a piece of broken equipment,” he says in War in the Mind, Saltspring Island-based filmmaker Judy Jackson’s moving, revelatory film about combat trauma. It airs Nov. 8 (9 p.m. and midnight) on Knowledge Network. “We have to do everything we can to resurrect his reputation,” says Fynes, whose son, a young veteran of Bosnia and Afghanistan, hanged himself at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton in 2008 at age 28, the victim of post-traumatic stress disorder. Langridge’s parents have taken issue with their son’s treatment at the hands of the military ….”
- Let’s not forget we have troops in the Middle East, too. “On the Golan Heights since July, Canadian army Capt. John Hooyer saw something new Thursday. It rained. He had been told by officers there before him that the rocky high ground between Israel and Syria does grow green. The area is fertile, home to vineyards and orchards. It is also the source of the headwaters of the Jordan River. But almost halfway into a year-long deployment with the United Nation’s observation force, Hooyer said he has watched the ground get drier and drier. Hooyer is one of seven Canadian soldiers assigned to Operation Jade, Canada’s contribution to the UN’s oldest peacekeeping mission. Hooyer is stationed around six observation posts on the Israeli side of the border with Syria. “It’s surprising how many people are not aware the UN is operating observation posts up here,” Hooyer said in a telephone interview ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) Yet ANOTHER question in the House of Commons.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Mark Collins on numbers and locations (some that may be no more?)
- Mark Collins again, this time on how long some of the Big Honkin’ Ships’ll take to build – more on that here.
- Speaking of Big Honkin’ Ships, ooopsie…. “A Canadian navy ship that had just undergone a yearlong, $44.7-million facelift struck a dock in Halifax on Friday afternoon, causing damage to both. HMCS Preserver, one of the navy’s supply ships, had just returned from several days of tests at sea and was in the process of turning around when it struck the Halifax Shipyards dock, said Royal Canadian Navy spokesman Maj. Paul Doucette. No one was injured, but Preserver’s upper starboard side was damaged, as was the dock ….” More at CBC.ca here, and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald here.
- House of Commons debate on proposed changes to the CF’s legal system via Hansard here and here.
- Don Cherry declines honourary degree from RMC with thanks (you can still vote here on a CBC.ca poll, though). “Concerned controversy may take away from “a special day,” Don Cherry has declined an honorary degree from the Royal Military College. “I can’t accept the degree and I won’t attend the convocation,” Cherry said in an interview Friday about the Nov. 17 ceremony in Kingston. “I am sad because I was really looking forward to spending time with the 800 cadets.” Perhaps instead they can line up to get their picture taken with French Professor Catherine Lord. It is because of her bizarre and vitriolic complaints that the legendary hockey coach and commentator wont be there. “On many occasions he publicly expressed his contempt for many groups of the Canadian population, notably for the French-speaking Canadians, for the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) community and for the immigrants,” Lord wrote in an open letter. “What message will RMC send, in celebrating Don Cherry, to the students coming from these groups? And what will the Canadian people remember from RMC, as a serious and prestigious institution?” The message would be: “Thanks, Don, for all you have done.” ….”
- Big spending by the U.K. to train its troops in Western Canada. “The Army spends an average of almost £45 million a year (CDN$ 74 million) training British soldiers on a Canadian prairie, the Government said today. Seven thousand troops are sent to British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), on a prairie in Alberta, each year ahead of deployment to war zones, including Afghanistan. They are able to fire live weapons more freely than in the UK because of the vast size of the prairie in Alberta. But figures revealed by the Ministry of Defence show spending on BATUS totalled £224.5 million over the past five years, peaking at £58 million in 2009/10. It works out at an average of £44.9 million annually since 2006 ….” (Article also downloadable as PDF here if link doesn’t work)
Written by milnewsca
5 November 11 at 9:00
Tagged with Kandahar, Afghanistan, milnews.ca, Taliban propaganda, Defence Research and Development Canada, Soldier On, DRDC, Mullah Omar, Army.ca, Chris Alexander, Don Cherry, Remembrance Day, military news, New Veterans Charter, Royal Military College, British Army Training Unit Suffield, BATUS, F-35, Joint Strike Fighter, Libyan unrest, Libya, Operation Mobile, Odyssey Dawn, Task Force Libeccio, 14 Wing Greenwood, Unified Protector, Julian Fantino, Kevin Megeney, Golan Heights, 8 Wing Trenton, Canadian Veterans Advocacy, Stuart Langridge, Shaun Fynes, poppy, Catherine Lord, Memorial Ribbon, white poppy, Applebee’s, Mike Bobbitt, Dave Desjardins, Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI, 3 Wing Bagotville, Veterans National Day, World Food Programme, WFP, War in the Mind, Judy Jackson, John Hooyer, Operation Jade, UNTSO, HMCS Preserver
- If anyone can make a case for how Canada’s treating its wounded warriors, it’s a wounded warrior. “A major who lost both his legs in Afghanistan says the Harper government’s financial treatment of injured war veterans is an “abject betrayal” of a new generation of soldiers. Maj. Mark Campbell, who stepped on a bomb in June 2008 near a Canadian base west of Kandahar city, says the New Veteran’s Charter established in 2006 robs wounded soldiers of about 40 per cent of their income …. “This New Veteran’s Charter is a grotesque travesty. It is an abject betrayal by the government of Canada to our new generation of disabled and wounded veterans,” said Campbell …. “What kind of deal is that? The people of Canada should be outraged.” Campbell believes the new lump-sum payments and income replacement pale in comparison to the practice after the Second World War of granting lifetime pensions …. “Why are we saying people who sacrificed limbs in the service of their country should be subjected to a 25 per cent reduction in their families’ means of living? It’s ridiculous,” he said ….” More from Postmedia News here and CBC.ca here.
- “Veterans Affairs bureaucrats who rifled through the personal files of a department critic were handed written reprimands and three-day suspensions — penalties the victim calls a “slap on the wrist.” An internal investigation found 54 veterans bureaucrats improperly snooped through Sean Bruyea’s personal files, including medical and psychiatric reports. Some of them used the information to smear the outspoken critic. “These employees have been disciplined and department officials consider this matter has been successfully addressed and closed,” said a Feb. 25 letter to Bruyea, obtained by The Canadian Press. The two-month internal investigation determined that 614 employees handled his file over a number of years, but many had no need to do so. Some of his personal information was included in briefing notes to former veterans affairs minister Greg Thompson in 2006 as the Conservative government prepared to implement the New Veterans Charter, which substantially overhauled benefits for former soldiers ….”
- Interesting research from a university in Alberta: “Video games often get a bad rap, but their ability to desensitise players to violence could help soldiers sleep better. According to an online survey of 98 military personnel, regularly playing games that involve war and combat – like Call of Duty – decreased the level of harm and aggression experienced when they dreamed about war. Soldiers who didn’t play video games reported having more violent dreams combined with a sense of helplessness, says Jayne Gackenbach of Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada ….” More on that here. Also, here’s a paper from the same researcher on the subject from last summer.
- More Canadians (and others) GTFO Libya. This from the PM’s chief spokesperson’s Twitter feed: “Another Canadian Armed Forces plane has left Tripoli with 10 Canadians, UK, Australians, Romanian and other evacuees.”
- A National Post editorial calls for NATO to do SOMETHING about Libya. “Pressure is growing for Western nations to intervene militarily in Libya’s emerging civil war …. there are good reasons to be wary about such a campaign. But Muammar Gaddafi’s apparent willingness to exterminate large numbers of his citizens in recent days has served to marginalize such concerns: Whatever the risks that attend military intervention, we must not permit a North African Srebrenica …. The heavy lifting associated with the no-fly mission should be performed by Italy, France, Germany and Spain — which, collectively, import 90% of Libya’s oil exports. Britain, too, has a well-established trade relationship with Libya. It is in these countries’ interests to remove Col. Gaddafi as quickly as possible and stabilize the country around a new government. There are roles for Canada, the United States and other Western nations, too. Even as the Canadian air force seeks to acquire a controversial new multi-purpose fighter jet, our old CF-18s are more than a match for anything the Libyans have to throw up against them. In the best case scenario, NATO will not have to fire a single shot or scramble a single aircraft — because Libyans will end Gaddafi’s cruel tyranny all by themselves. But failing that, we cannot stand by and permit a Libyan genocide to unfold.”
- The Winnipeg Free Press is even more specific about a no-fly zone. “As Libyan rebels, until recently rolling towards Tripoli, now reel under a fierce counter-attack by the military forces of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the world wonders what to do. It can sit back and do nothing other than shout encouragement to the revolutionaries from the sidelines, which is mostly what it is has done up until now — some nations have given humanitarian aid to the insurgents, a few have sent military aid and moral support to Col. Gadhafi …. The …. choice, and one that paradoxically has the strongest support and the strongest opposition, is to declare a “no-fly zone” over Libya. The arguments in favour of this are most persuasively that it would be an unmistakable statement of international support for the revolution that Col. Gadhafi could not ignore. It would ground the Libyan air force that has in recent days been a devastating psychological as well as tactical weapon in the government counter-attack. And it can be implemented without UN consent or the even the united approval of NATO. In short, it is doable and effective …. such a declaration still seems the best and most effective way of aiding the revolution. There is a real chance for democracy in Libya, and thousands of Libyans have died in its pursuit. If the West does nothing, then Carney’s prophecy will be self-fulfilling: If we don’t at least stay apace of events, we will be so far behind them that the next diplomatic mission to Tripoli may well be to pay respects to a rejuvenated Col. Gadhafi.”
- One of the standard MSM stories out of Afghanistan: the hockey stars drop by. Postmedia News’ version here and the Canadian Press’ version here.
- An interesting variation on the “sports for the troops” theme: a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) match is set for Afghanistan today. More on the match here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks claimed in Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul.
- What’s Canada Buying? Fixing up radar at CFB Trenton: “Sensis Corporation’s modernization program for the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) Terminal Radar and Control System (TRACS) Area Surveillance Radar (ASR-3) has been formally accepted and is now commissioned and in use by the DND. The fully redundant ASR-3 radar modernization solution features a high performance signal/data processor and solid state L-band transmitter replacement along with six level National Weather Service (NWS) weather data processing capability embedded in the software. The modernization solution will extend the service life of 8 Wing/Canadian Forces Base Trenton’s radar by a minimum of 15 years while reducing life cycle, maintenance and operating costs ….”
- (Belated) bye, bye Arcturus. “The Aurora community marked the end of an era on Dec. 15, 2010, when the last of the CP-140A Arcturus aircraft, a variant of the CP-140 Aurora, performed its final operational mission for the Canadian Forces. Its 4,600 horsepower engines fired up one last time before it took off from 14 Greenwood, N.S., for a 16.1 hour mission – pushing the outer limit of endurance and setting a record for the longest flight in a CP-140A Arcturus. The crew of nine, composed mainly of members of 404 Long Range Patrol and Training Squadron, flew along the boundary of the eastern Canadian airspace to test the communications coverage of NORAD’s installations. The Arcturus departed Greenwood on a flight plan that took it north to a point near Frobisher Bay, Nunavut, and then south to a point near Yarmouth, N.S ….”
- In spite of how much Ottawa is pushing the F-35 fighter, a recent speech by Canada’s Defence Minister points to a different threat. “…. after Mr. MacKay had finished laying out what appeared to be the critical importance of cutting-edge air power in Canadian sovereignty, the minister said Canada was actually most vulnerable to maritime threats. “Not to sound too foreboding, [but] at the risk of being too honest, I think our greatest vulnerability, in my estimation, is waterborne,” he said. With the longest coastline in the world, “beware the water.” Mr. MacKay’s office says his comment about the overriding “vulnerability” of the maritime environment was a reference to the government’s plan to spend $35-billion—even more money than the projected costs of the F-35—on several new vessels for its navy. And his spokesperson Josh Zanin expanded on why Canada’s greatest vulnerability is maritime by noting that waterborne security not only involves military threats, but “directly affects the availability—and the cost—of essential goods, especially food and fuel, all over the world” by affecting international shipping, of which 95 per cent is done over water. Other defence experts agreed with this view ….”
- “The federal government is spending more on the military today than at any point since the end of the Second World War, according to a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives that argues Canada isn’t getting enough bang for its buck. This country is expected to spend more than $23 billion on the military in 2010-11, about 2% more than it did the previous year and about 26% more than it did the year the Berlin Wall came down. That said, Canada’s status as an international player has been undermined by its failure to win a seat on the UN Security Council. Author Bill Robinson argues that Canada has no real military power or influence despite being the world’s 13th biggest military spender and NATO’s sixth biggest spender, so ought shift to consider a drastic shift in priorities. “That kind of money would allow us to operate in a much more significant manner in other ways in the world, most notably through things like development assistance,” he said Tuesday ….” As of this post, no word of the study at the CCPA site yet.
Written by milnewsca
9 March 11 at 7:45
Tagged with milnews.ca, Veterans Affairs Canada, Dimitri Soudas, Mark Campbell, CFB Trenton, military news, video games, New Veterans Charter, F-35, NORAD, 8 Wing, Sean Bruyea, NWS, Libyan unrest, Libya, Canadians evacuated from Libya, OP Mobile, Muammar Gaddafi, MMA, WreckMMA, Sensis Corporation, TRACS, ASR-3, National Weather Service, CP-140A Arcturus, CFB Greenwood, 404 Long Range Patrol and Training Squadron, Libyan no-fly zone, Libyan no-flight zone, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Bill Robinson, CCPA, maritime threats to Canada, Jayne Gackenbach, Grant MacEwan University, effect of video games on soldiers
- It’s that time of year again: “The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Afghanistan, today released the Government of Canada’s 10th quarterly report on Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan. The report covers the period from July 1 to September 30, 2010, and focuses on the progress achieved on Canada’s six priorities and three signature projects in Afghanistan, through the lens of security. “Improving security is at the core of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan,” said Minister Cannon. “It is a factor in every element of daily life for Afghans, and has an impact on the delivery of basic services, the development of village-level governance and even the holding of national elections.” ….” Bitchiness Watch: Guess how often the name of Canada’s Defence Minister is mentioned in the news release? Check out the full report here.
- The Royal Canadian Mint says a “Highway of Heroes” coin is in the works: “In keeping with its proud tradition of issuing coins honouring Canada’s veterans and Remembrance, the Royal Canadian Mint today advised members of the Northumberland County Council that a collector coin commemorating the celebrated “Highway of Heroes” and Canada’s fallen in Afghanistan will once again illustrate these themes in 2011. Further to our intention to introduce this coin at a future date, we are pleased to assure supporters of the “Highway of Heroes” that their tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice during Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan will be immortalized by the Mint in 2011 …. The Mint will report on the status of this project to the Northumberland County Council in the next four to five months and we look forward to the addition of this collector coin to a long line of Royal Canadian Mint coins honouring the men and women who proudly serve the Canadian Forces.”
- More from the special forces conference taking place in Kingston – it’s safer having a lower profile as special forces, but it can also keep one out of the limelight when it’s time to dole out limited cash: “…. Domestic terrorism is a law-enforcement issue and the military works with Canadian intelligence, the RCMP and other police forces as it has no jurisdiction in Criminal Code matters. It considers a successful operation one in which it works at the invitation of local authorities and no one knows it was ever there. The special forces are trying to figure out what shape that function will take with military budget cuts looming as Canada’s mission in Afghanistan winds down. An outfit whose work is secret can be an easy target for politicians who can rationalize that if no one sees it now, no one is going to notice if it is cut back ….”
- It was a F-35 vs. Eurofighter Typhoon vs. Saab Gripen sales pitch to the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence (NDDN) this week: ” The makers of two different fighter jets Canada is not buying made their sales pitches anyway to Parliament’s defence committee Tuesday. Representatives from the German-based Eurofighter Typhoon and Sweden’s Saab Gripen appeared at committee and told members their planes can meet Canada’s air force demands, and are far cheaper than the fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter stealth jet the government agreed to buy in July. Canada intends to buy 65 F-35s for $9 billion — plus maintenance costs — to replace the aging fleet of CF-18s, with delivery expected to start in 2016. Antony Ogilvie with Saab said they could supply Canada with 65 upgraded Gripens, with 40 years of maintenance costs included, for under $6 billion. The Liberals have vowed, if elected, to cancel what they decry as a sole-sourced deal to buy the American F-35, and instead would open up the new jet purchase to a competition ….” More from QMI/Sun Media here. More industry reps in front of the committee today as well.
- Meanwhile, Canada’s Defence Minister Peter MacKay on the F-35s: The decision to buy is “firm”, and they’ll be on time, on budget.
- In other jet flogging news: “Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day made a stop at a River Road facility (in British Columbia) last Friday that will manufacture components for the highly advanced Joint Strike fighter jet. At the Asco Aerospace Ltd. plant, many military aircraft parts and the machinery that produces them were off limits to cameras, including some sensitive materials that were covered up, as the president of the Treasury Board and minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway announced the funding initiative. Day said the company would receive a loan, called a “repayable investment” by the federal government, of $7.7 million toward a $19 million project that involves researching and developing innovative manufacturing technologies to produce aircraft bulkheads and specialized metal components ….”
- Canada’s Auditor General is taking at how the New Veterans Charter was put into place: “Auditor General Sheila Fraser is planning to investigate the New Veterans Charter and the lump-sum payments that became a flashpoint for growing numbers of wounded soldiers returning from Afghanistan. Fraser confirmed her planned audit in a Dec. 7 letter to Liberal Senator Percy Downe who pressed her office for an audit since studies came to light that predicted the new lump-sum disability payments would mean less money for veterans and save up to $40 million a year. “I’m concerned this became a cost-saving exercise rather than a service to veterans,” said Downe. In the letter, Fraser said the issue “is an important one” for her office and auditors responsible for Veterans Affairs are planning an audit on “aspects” of the charter. Her office expects to deliver the report on the audit in the fall of 2012 …. “ More from CTV.ca here.
- Parliamentarians also took some heat (again) from Canada’s Auditor General over less-than-ideal helicopter buying processes: “…. Canada’s favourite watchdog has again slammed National Defence for bungling two helicopter purchases. Auditor General Sheila Fraser reiterated to Parliament’s public accounts committee Tuesday what she wrote in her fall report — that National Defence “underestimated and understated” the costs and complexities of both the Cyclone and Chinook helicopters, and in the latter’s case, failed to hold an “open, fair, or transparent” procurement process. None of the new helicopters have been delivered. Also, Fraser’s audit of the two defence purchases found National Defence failed to follow its own purchasing guidelines and failed to fully appreciate what these helicopters would actually cost. “We found that National Defence underestimated and understated the complexity and developmental nature of these helicopters, describing both as non-developmental and using off-the-shelf technologies,” Fraser said Tuesday, adding modifications required to meet Canada’s needs has led to costly delays ….” A bit more in the A-G’s news release from 26 Oct 10 here.
- CF “to say sorry for Mohawk inclusion in counter-insurgency manual”: “ The Canadian military is expected to officially apologize early next year for including the Mohawk Warrior Society in a draft version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual (PDF), APTN National News has learned. The text of the apology has been approved by the upper echelons of the military command, but details still need to be worked out on how to deliver the statement and on how big of an event should be staged. A draft 2006 version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual was released publicly in March 2007 and it included a reference to the Mohawk Warrior Society in a section describing different types of insurgencies. First Nations leaders immediately reacted with anger, saying it appeared to equate First Nations with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and the Taliban. The apology is expected to be delivered in either January or February. The Assembly of First Nations and representatives from Akwesasne are involved in the discussions ….”
- Does Canada need a plane just for counterinsurgencies?
- The Canadian Forces now has uniform rules for men becoming women and vice versa: “…. the Canadian Forces have issued a new policy detailing how the organization should accommodate transsexual and transvestite troops specifically. Soldiers, sailors and air force personnel who change their sex or sexual identity have a right to privacy and respect around that decision, but must conform to the dress code of their *target* gender, says the supplementary chapter of a military administration manual …. Added as a chapter to a National Defence manual, the new document defines transsexual as someone with a psychological need to live as a member of the opposite sex, whether they have undergone sex-change surgery or not. Their unit must treat them with the “utmost privacy and respect,” meaning, for instance, that there is no need to explain why a person’s sex is being changed in computer records. A transsexual service person must comply with the dress code and standards of deportment of the gender to which he or she is changing, the document says. It draws the line, though, at retroactively changing the name associated with any medals awarded to the individual before their change, saying “there is no legal authority for rewriting history.” ….” More on that here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Almost 90 claimed killed in Kandahar, Zabul, and Taliban Info-Machine’s trying out direct, unsolicited e-mails to media outlets.
Written by milnewsca
9 December 10 at 7:45
Tagged with milnews.ca, Lawrence Cannon, Stockwell Day, Peter MacKay, chinook, CANSOFCOM, JTF-2, counterinsurgency, Office of the Auditor General, Sheila Fraser, military news, NDDN, New Veterans Charter, F-35, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen, House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence, Joint Strike Fighter, Asco Aerospace, Auditor General, Cyclone, Akwesasne, Mohawk, Canadian COIN manual, Assembly of First Nations, transsexual dress regulations, Canadian counterinsurgency manual, Royal Canadian Mint, Highway of Heroes coin, Canada's quarterly report on Afghanistan
- Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery from any injuries the pilot may have sustained: “The Rescue Co-Ordination Centre at CFB Trenton, Ont., says a Canadian fighter jet has crashed overnight. The CF-18 went down in Cold Lake, Alta., around 1:30 this morning. The pilot safely ejected and was located by searchers. The jet was returning from a mission when it crashed. It was not immediately clear why it went down ….”
- “Approximately 37 members of A Squadron, Lord Stracona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) and 6 members of the 35 Armoured Engineer Troop, 1 Combat Engineer Regiment will return from Afghanistan back home to Edmonton Thursday morning at 12:30 a.m. ….” Welcome home!
- Who’s Happy About the New Afghanistan Mission (Continued)? Some retired Canadian Generals seem pleased, with one reminding Canadians in general, and a Liberal senator in particular, that training behind the wire =/= mentoring Afghan troops in battle.
- Who’s Unhappy About the New Afghanistan Mission (Continued)? The N.D.P. (troops staying + aid being cut) and some members of the Liberal caucus (according to the Canadian Press, “about a half dozen MPs spoke out (during a caucus meeting) against the decision and the top-down manner in which it was reached”).
- NATO, meanwhile, raises the spectre that it ain’t necessarily all going to be over in Afghanistan by 2014 – more from Reuters, Agence France-Press and the Associated Press.
- Tune into CPAC this weekend for a documentary on the Afghanistan media don’t see while they’re embedded with Canadian military forces – more on that here.
- The Government tabled a bill in the House of Commons yesterday to “complement the series of measures that the Government of Canada is putting in place putting in place to increase the financial support for our Veterans under the New Veterans Charter” (Hansard transcript here). Comments so far: nice to see, but way more continues to be needed. More from Postmedia News here, the Toronto Star here and the Globe & Mail here.
- Who’s answering questions on Afghanistan in the House of Commons these days? As of yesterday, according to Hansard, the PM and Development Minister Bev Oda for the first question, and the Defence Minister and Oda on the second.
- Talkin’ to the Taliban: A Canadian disarmament campaigner says if you can’t beat ’em, you might as well reconile with ’em: “…. Afghanistan is now in the kind of “hurting stalemate” that should be conducive to negotiations. The Afghan government and its partners in the International Security Assistance Force can’t defeat the Taliban, and the Taliban can’t defeat the government and its security backers. It’s a stalemate that hurts both sides politically and economically, and that calls out for a political solution ….”
- How Canada’s fallen help save lives. This, from the Kingston Whig-Standard‘s coverage of a military medical conference under way in Kingston: “When Capt. Nichola Goddard was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan in 2006, battlefield medical care couldn’t save her due to her massive injuries and blood loss. But within minutes of the attack, the fallen soldier was saving future lives. Goddard, a forward observation officer who graduated from Royal Military College, was standing in the turret of her LAV when the rockets hit and a huge piece of shrapnel sliced through her neck. When she was rushed to the Role 3 hospital at Kandahar Air Field, military investigators grabbed her body armour, protective glasses, helmet and other equipment and charted her injuries, a drill at which they have become well versed with the sheer number of wounded that are medevaced there from the battlefields. Goddard was pronounced dead and flown home with honours. An autopsy in Toronto confirmed the cause of death as massive injuries due to the slicing shrapnel. Within weeks, troops were being issued body armour with high protective collars to prevent such future deaths, collars they still wear today in the never-ending adaptation armies go through in war ….” More on this, and what researchers can learned from wrecked vehicles, here.
- Remember this little road trip Nicaraguan troops took into Costa Rica earlier this month because Google Maps placed the border in the wrong spot? A Costa Rican media outlet says Canada denies offering to send troops to help sort things out in the Central American jungle. The original allegation came out last week in another Costa Rican newspaper (Spanish article here, Google English translation here, and both versions at Scribd.com here), where Costa Rica’s Foreign Affairs Minister René Castro Salazar was quoted saying Canada’s Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Peter Kent offered “personal y recursos” (Google translates that into “staff and resources”) ranging from “geógrafos hasta personal militar” (“geographers to military personnel”) during a meeting before an Organization of American States meeting on the issue.
- Canada’s “in the green” (or low risk) when it comes to the potential for a terrorist attack, according to a British corporate risk assessment company’s recent study – more on that here.
- So, what’s with all the video games the CF wants to buy and ship to a Montreal military warehouse? Even a CF spokesperson speaking to the Canadian Press admits “It’s a strange one”.
Written by milnewsca
18 November 10 at 7:45
Tagged with milnews.ca, Bev Oda, Peter MacKay, David Pugliese, Stephen Harper, MERX, Ian Elliot, Peter Kent, Lewis MacKenzie, 1 Combat Engineer Regiment, military news, Scott Taylor, Longue-Pointe Garrison, video games, Lord Stracona's Horse (Royal Canadians), CPAC, Afghanistan: Outside the Wire, New Veterans Charter, Costa Rica Nicaragua border dispute, Google border mistake, Maplecroft, Terrorism Risk Index, La Nacion, Nichola Goddard, Rob Steigelmar, Ernie Regehr, Cold Lake, CF-18, Rescue Co-ordination Center Trenton, CF-18 crash cold lake