Posts Tagged ‘Royal Canadian Mint’
- MCPL Byron Greff, 3PPCLI, R.I.P. He’s home – more here. Photos of his ramp ceremony in Afghanistan on Facebook here (thanks to Senior Airman Kat Lynn Justen of the USAF Info-machine).
- Afghanistan (1) Meanwhile, the CF Info-machine shares a backgrounder on part of the training mission. “The Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC) is the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) flagship training institution. Located on the eastern outskirts of Afghanistan’s capital city, the KMTC can house and train up to 12,000 trainees at a time. Over 60,000 soldiers graduate from courses at the KMTC annually. Two hundred and thirty-five Canadian Forces advisors serve at the KMTC as part of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. Thirty-five members have been with the KMTC since mid-June and the remaining 200 recently arrived in October ….”
- Afghanistan (2) Canadian ingenuity as we continue to pack up in Kandahar. “The Armour Removal Platoon of the Mission Closure Unit is responsible for removing the armour added to the combat vehicles used by Canadian troops in Kandahar Province and packing it for shipment back to Canada. The process of dismounting the armour from the vehicles is difficult, labour-intensive and inherently dangerous. Because safety had to be our highest priority, it was difficult to achieve any speed on the production line. That was the case until Private Bryan Capiak and Corporal Bradley Van Olm developed a new way to take the heaviest pieces of armour — the four Z bars — off the Light Armoured Vehicle Mk III (LAV III) ….”
- Afghanistan (3) Well done. “On October 20th, 2011, Canada’s Acting Head of Mission Philip MacKinnon and Detective Ken Brander, a member of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS), donated 11 Kobo e-readers to a group of female students of the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA). Each e-reader comes with 50 classic books pre-loaded, which will greatly increase the number of books available at the SOLA library and allow young Afghan students to perfect their reading skills. The funds to purchase the e-readers were raised by Detective Brander’s EPS colleagues including a group of dedicated resource officers, local business, friends, and family, on behalf of Ross Sheppard High School in Edmonton, Alberta ….”
- Afghanistan (4) “The Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary does not appeal to all students. But some are more interested in war studies than peace studies. For them, the interest and focus they bring to class ensures an enormously fulfilling experience, particularly for us who teach them. Ryan Flavelle is one such student. Like several others, he is also a member of the military. Unlike his colleagues, he has written a riveting book. It deals with his service in the southern Panjwaii district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Flavelle’s motives for writing The Patrol: Seven Days in the Life of a Canadian Soldier in Afghanistan were both universal and personal. Like every historian from Thucydides to the present, he wanted to ensure the memory of the immediacy of his experiences would not be lost in oblivion. But the personal side of his story is far more compelling ….”
- Libya NATO flies its last air mission. “…. a NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AWACS) conlcuded the last flight of Operation Unified Protector. With this, a successful chapter in NATO’s history has come to an end. Since the beginning of the NATO operation, NATO air assets conducted over 26,500 sorties, including over 9,700 strike sorties to protect the people of Libya from attack or the threat of attack ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) LOADS o’ questions on the F-35 (transcripts from Hansard here, here, here and here) during Question Period in the House of Commons so far this week.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) “Military planners are concerned the Harper government is buying too few F-35 fighters with almost no room for any loss of the stealth jets throughout their projected lifetimes, according to internal Defence Department briefings. “Canada is the only country that did not account (for) attrition aircraft” in its proposal, said an undated capability-and-sustainment briefing given to senior officers late last year ….” No indication of The Canadian Press sharing the briefing notes in question.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (3) Postmedia News Columnist: “…. Harper has often shown an ability to execute tactical retreats with lightning speed, if he feels he’s lost the high ground. Look for that to happen with the F-35, sooner rather than later, as the economic gloom deepens south of the border.”
- Big Honkin’ Ships Duelling academics: “…. Marc Milner, naval history professor at the University of New Brunswick, said the vessels will let the navy cruise the Canada’s Arctic waters later in the fall and earlier in the spring, though winter access will still be the domain of the Coast Guard. The ships also give the navy full year-round access to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. He said that, while the new Arctic patrol vessels fit into the Harper government’s Canada First Defence Policy, which is looking to expand the reach and scope of the country’s military, the ships are not designed for serious combat. “Nobody anticipates getting into a real big dustup in the Arctic,” Milner said. “More effort will be put into their sensor suite and communications equipment than in their weapons.” The Arctic vessels will fulfil a constabulary rather than a combat role, Milner said. The icebreakers will let the navy patrol emerging shipping routes in the melting Arctic ice. The Russian route through the Arctic, from Europe to China, is “pretty much commercialized,” he said, with several ships having passed through this summer escorted by Russian icebreakers. “There’s good reason for us to be up there with a little more presence than we have at the moment,” Milner said. Paul Mitchell, a naval historian with the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., said the Arctic ships will likely have little more than an anti-aircraft Bofors gun on their bows. “Despite the growing interests in the Arctic, the area is well handled by diplomatic efforts,” Mitchell said ….”
- Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino set to say something in Richmond, B.C. today.
- What’s Canada Buying? Event recorders for armoured vehicles in Afghanistan, loads o’ flashlights and rain jackets for sailors.
- “A new silver coin will commemorate Canada’s Highway of Heroes, as a tribute to the country’s war dead and the people who line the route to honour them. The Royal Canadian Mint says $20 from the sale of each coin will be shared between the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial and the Military Families Fund. The silver coin, which has a face value of $10, will retail for $69.95 and only 25,000 will be produced ….” More from the Royal Canadian Mint here and here.
- New Library of Parliament paper: “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and the Mental Health of Military Personnel and Veterans”
- Remember the chap threatening a hunger strike over how he’s been treated by Veterans Affairs Canada? Here’s what the Minister is saying about the issue in Question Period: “When our brave soldiers are deployed to theatres of operation, such as Rwanda or Bosnia, they may suffer serious injuries. That is why we are implementing specific and effective programs and services that are based on the most recent scientific data. When we implemented improvements to the new veterans charter, it was specifically to help veterans who had the most serious injuries or illnesses. As soon as I was made aware of this situation, I asked the officials in my department to take the necessary measures.”
- Whazzup with Khadr Boy’s return? “The Conservatives are continuing to play coy over whether or not they’ll allow convicted war criminal Omar Khadr return to Canada. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Tuesday he will decide in good time if and when Toronto-born Khadr can return home to finish his sentence for murdering a U.S. Army medic in Afghanistan. “I put the safety of Canadians first,” he said. “A decision will be made on this file, as on all applications, in due course.” The Conservatives were in the firing line from opposition parties, who accuse the Tories of trying to back out of a commitment they made with the U.S. government a year ago to allow Khadr to return to Canada after serving a year of his eight year sentence. “This fellow was arrested when he was 14-years-old and held since then and ought to have the benefit of Canadian laws,” said NDP justice critic Jack Harris ….” More from Question Period on Khadr here, from QMI/Sun Media here and from Agence France-Presse here.
- “Canadians should “absolutely” be concerned about a call for young Somalis in Canada to kill non-Muslims made by a terrorist group linked to al-Qaida, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews warned Monday. Toews was responding to Al Shabaab, which released a recording on the weekend from a suicide bomber calling for a jihad in Canada and other countries. “If there are individuals with information that can assist us detecting any terrorist threat we would ask them to provide us with that information,” Toews said, adding that the Somali community works with Ottawa on security matters. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the RCMP, the Communications Security Establishment and the Privy Council Office – the bureaucratic arm of the Prime Minister’s Office – are Canada’s terrorist watchdogs. “We are aware of, and take very seriously, the threat posed by Al-Shabaab,” said CSIS spokesperson Tahera Mufti ….”
Written by milnews.ca
2 November 11 at 7:45
Tagged with Afghanistan, Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial, Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, al-Qaida, al-Shabaab, Armour Removal Platoon, AWACS, Bradley Van Olm, Bryan Capiak, Byron Greff, Canada First Defence Policy, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, CSIS, Edmonton Police Service, F-35, Highway of Heroes, Jack Harris, Joint Strike Fighter, Julian Fantino, Kabul Military Training Centre, Kandahar, Kat Lynn Justen, Ken Brander, KMTC, Kobo, LAV III, Library of Parliament, Libya, Libyan unrest, Light Armoured Vehicle Mk III, Marc Milner, MERX, Military Families Fund, military news, milnews.ca, Mission Closure Unit, National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan, NTM-A, Odyssey Dawn, Omar Khadr, Operation Mobile, Panjwaii, Pascal Lacoste, Paul Mitchell, Philip MacKinnon, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and the Mental Health of Military Personnel and Veterans, Ross Sheppard High School, Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Military College, Ryan Flavelle, School of Leadership Afghanistan, SOLA, Tahera Mufti, Task Force Libeccio, The Patrol, Unified Protector, University of Calgary, University of New Brunswick, Vic Toews, Z bars
- Afghanistan “The women of the Canadian Forces played a much bigger combat role in Afghanistan than they did in earlier overseas missions, according to a research paper to be presented this week. The study found 310 Canadian women were deployed to Afghanistan in combat positions such as infantry in 2001-11, more than triple the number that had frontline fighting roles in the 1990s. “So they are making a significant contribution, for example, to the Afghan mission, more so I think than the public is aware,” said Krystel Carrier-Sabourin, a doctoral student at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont ….”
- Cuts at Veterans Affairs Canada (1) “An opposition manoeuvre that prompted a public exploration of the effects of cuts at the Veterans Affairs department could come to a quick end. The Commons committee investigating the issue went behind closed doors Tuesday after hearing from just one set of witnesses in its study of the reduction of $226-million over two years to the department’s $3.5-billion budget ….”
- Cuts at Veterans Affairs Canada (2) Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Eve Adams: no benefit cuts are in the works. “The minister could not have been clearer in answering the question about whether or not veterans’ benefits would be cut. The expert witnesses we heard today at committee could not have been clearer on whether or not veterans’ benefits would be cut. So I will add my voice to answer the question for the member for Charlottetown and let me say it very simply and very clearly. There will be no cuts to veterans’ benefits.”
- Highway of Heroes coin to be unveiled soon by the Royal Canadian Mint. “Since the start of the Afghanistan war, thousands of Canadians have stood on bridges and lined streets to watch motorcades head west on the Highway of Heroes. The motorcades include hearses carrying the remains of Canada’s war dead. Family members ride in other vehicles. To commemorate those ultimate sacrifices and the groundswell of public tribute, the Royal Canadian Mint has struck a commemorative coin. The mint will unveil the Highways of Heroes silver commemorative coin at a ceremony Monday at Quinte West City Hall in Trenton. The coin was the brainchild of QMI Agency visual journalist Pete Fisher. He’s also the author of the recently released book Highway of Heroes, True Patriot Love ….”
- “A Canadian war amputee and Canucks legend Richard Brodeur will come together …. to announce the Heroes Hockey Challenge, a national charity benefiting wounded soldiers and their families. “Remember that these families weren’t drafted into this. These individuals chose to go into it, but it’s much more difficult for their families,” said Master Cpl. Paul Franklin, a double amputee. In January 2006, a convoy Franklin was riding in was hit by a suicide bomber in Kandahar, Afghanistan, severing his left leg. He later underwent 26 surgeries before his right leg was also amputated …. The charity will see galas and charity hockey games in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Halifax in the early new year. The events will feature auctions, celebrity guests, NHL stars and live entertainment. The games, taking place in each city’s official NHL arena, will pit former NHL greats against Canadian soldiers ….” More on the Heroes Hockey Challenge here (Facebook) and here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) Associate Minister of National Defence drops by Winnipeg to tell everyone the benefits of the F-35 deal – more here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Defence Minister takes softball question in the House of Commons on the Joint Strike Fighter. “Ms. Joyce Bateman (Winnipeg South Centre, CPC): Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has made unprecedented investments in Canada’s armed forces. Our commitment to rebuilding their capacity, after a decade or darkness, is ensuring that our brave men and women have the tools they need. The work to supply this equipment is also providing an incredible boost to the Canadian economy. Could the Minister of National Defence please inform the House of recent developments on the economic benefits of the F-35 program? Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my friend from Winnipeg is right. Our government has committed to provide the air force with the F-35 and has enabled Canadian companies to compete for large-scale contracts to help build the aircraft for the global supply chain. Today, Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg celebrated the opening of its new advanced composites manufacturing centre, which will house the production lines for parts as well as the assembly of the horizontal tail structure for the F-35. This work at Bristol, we are told, will create 100 new jobs. Our government is proud to stand with Canadians and for the Canadian economy and the Canadian Forces. We wish the opposition would stop fearmongering and support— “
- Big Honkin’ Ships Globe & Mail column: “…. the shipbuilding contract broke with a long Canadian tradition, produced a rational, fact-based decision, bullet-proofed the government from any charge of political interference, and gives Canada a chance to build a more streamlined and efficient industry. Hats off to the Harper government.”
- If the socialists aren’t happy with the big honkin’ ships and the F-35’s, they MUST be good! “…. The expenditures fit with Canada’s increasingly aggressive military posture in the world. From its combat roles in Afghanistan and Libya to its police/military occupation role in Haiti, Canada is joining the front ranks of imperialist countries that are increasingly turning to military force to advance their economic interests and maintain the unequal and unfair international status quo ….”
- Mark Collins on “The CF and Canadian Western Hemisphere Neo-Imperialism”
- “…. Numbers still matter, of course, but the static budgetary and counting exercises of the Cold War count for much less when what matters most is whether you are prepared to fight for something other than your own immediate defence. In retrospect, it seems clear that many Europeans’ commitment to collective defence during the standoff with the Soviets wasn’t much more than a commitment to their own defence. In a post-Cold War era, when the burdens of NATO membership entail sending one’s troops to actually fight in faraway places, most European governments are decidedly less interested. So who’s a “free rider” now? And how long, in an era of prolonged economic austerity, will Canada and the few other allies who actually contribute to the fighting be prepared to accept these costs when so many others are not?“
- What’s Canada Buying? Wanted: someone to “supply …. labour, material, supervision and equipment necessary to construct a new urban assault course including concrete, carpentry, roofing and foundations in Petawawa, Ontario …. The estimated cost for this opportunity is in the order of $401,600.00 ….”
- “It will take up to 150 days to answer an access-to-information request for the costs of adding the word “royal” to the air and maritime divisions of the Canadian Forces, says the Defence Department. In a request dated Sept. 27, The Canadian Press asked for documentation of the costs to restore the words “Royal Canadian” to the air force and navy. However, the Canadian Forces says it needs more time because it has to consult with the Privy Council Office about possible cabinet confidentiality issues. The department has extended the 30-day deadline for a response to March 26. Defence Minister Peter MacKay repeatedly declined to give a cost estimate during the Aug. 16 news conference announcing the change, saying the value of restoring the traditional names was “priceless.” ….” We’ll see how long we’ll have to wait for the media outlet to release the material to the public once it reaches the media’s hands….
- “Lieutenant General Walter Semianiw, the Commander of Canada Command, will visit Finland from 25-26 October 2011. Canada Command is the organisation responsible for the national defence of Canada. General Semianiw’s host in Finland will be Rear Admiral Juha Rannikko, Chief of Defence Command Finland ….”
- The Canadian Forces apparently beat out CBC in Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa. “The Conservative government’s overhaul of the 2011 Canada Day celebrations, which included scrapping plans to honour the CBC’s 75th anniversary, drew ire from the opposition Tuesday. As reported by iPolitics Tuesday morning, Conservative officials drastically changed what the Canadian Heritage department had in mind for the Canada Day show on Parliament Hill. A suggestion to celebrate the CBC was rebuffed, and a renewed emphasis was placed on the Canadian Armed Forces ….” This, from Heritage Minister James Moore during Question Period yesterday: “I think my colleague is talking about my speech on Canada Day last year, which I wrote myself. Instead of celebrating the CBC, which the member is free to do as he wants, what I chose to say instead in my speech was, “On this Canada Day…to those men and women of the Canadian Forces serving in Afghanistan, in Libya, and other difficult places in the world: to put it simply, you are the bravest and the best, we are proud of your service, and we are honoured by the work that you do for Canada”. That is what I said instead of praising the CBC. I had two minutes, and I stand by my decision.”
- “The iconic poem In Flanders Fields immortalized the poppy as a symbol of remembrance for Canadian soldiers since the First World War. But it’s also a registered trademark, owned and so closely guarded by the Royal Canadian Legion that a motorcycle club of veterans isn’t allowed to include a small one in its own logo without lawyers threatening legal action. Capt. Michael Blow, president of the Canadian Veteran Freedom Riders (CVFR), who devoted 35 years of his life to the military, has one in his club’s crest. It’s a little difficult to see, but it’s there. And the Legion doesn’t like that one bit ….” Discussion on this at Army.ca here.
- “George W. Bush’s visit to Surrey, B.C., on Thursday was met with a protest and an unsuccessful courtroom bid to have him detained for torture during his presidency. Roughly 200 demonstrators chanted for his detainment, many waving their shoes in the air, in reference to a 2008 incident at Baghdad press conference, when Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi hurled a sneaker at the former president …. As Bush arrived …. the Canadian Centre for International Justice filed a private prosecution in a Surrey provincial court to have him arrested. Made on behalf of four plaintiffs the unsuccessful attempt joined calls by Amnesty International, as well as a 4,000-page legal submission to Canada’s Attorney General …. He and other members of his administration insist their measures were both legal under international law, and necessary to prevent terrorism after September 11, 2001. In one exchange with demonstrators yesterday, one RCMP officer guarding the Surrey Regional Economic Forum — where Bush was to speak alongside another former U.S. president, Bill Clinton — said the former president could not be arrested because he is an “internationally protected person.” ….”
- Alexander Johnston, 1885-1918, R.I.P “Private Alexander Johnston, a Canadian casualty of the First World War whose remains were identified last spring, was buried today with full military honours at Cantimpré Canadian Cemetery, in Sailly-lez-Cambrai, France. In attendance were members of Private Johnston’s family, a Canadian Forces contingent, Mr. Marc Lortie, Canadian Ambassador to France as well as other French dignitaries ….” More here, here and here.
Written by milnews.ca
26 October 11 at 7:45
Tagged with access-to-information request, Afghanistan, Alexander Johnston, Amnesty International, Bill Clinton, Canada Command, Canada Day, Canadian Centre for International Justice, Canadian Veteran Freedom Riders, Cantimpré Canadian Cemetery, CFB Petawawa, CVFR, Eve Adams, F-35, Finland, George W. Bush, Heroes Hockey Challenge, Highway of Heroes coin, In Flanders Fields, James Moore, Joint Strike Fighter, Juha Rannikko, Julian Fantino, Krystel Carrier-Sabourin, Marc Lortie, Mark Collins, MERX, Michael Blow, military news, milnews.ca, Ms. Joyce Bateman, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, Paul Franklin, Pete Fisher, Peter MacKay, poppy, Richard Brodeur, Royal Canadian, Royal Canadian Legion, Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Military College in Kingston, Sailly-lez-Cambrai, Surrey Regional Economic Forum, urban assault course, Veterans Affairs Canada, Walter Semianiw
- Here’s a bit more information and context behind at least one of the Challenger trips Chief of Defence Staff Walt Natynczyk in the media lately.
- Afghanistan (1) What the CF is doing about cleaning up the ground underneath what’s soon to be their former base in Kandahar. “Master Corporal Ken Stewart has an important job. The water, fuel and environment technician (WFE tech) is responsible for soil remediation at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) as part of the Mission Transition Task Force (MTTF) working to close down Canadian operations there by the end of the year. Soil contamination from the daily activities of thousands of Canadian soldiers and hundreds of commercial and tactical vehicles is a major concern. Consequently, mitigation of soil degradation is a priority task for the MTTF, a responsibility being undertaken by a team of WFE techs, field engineers and infantry soldiers ….”
- Afghanistan (2) The Army Run’s not JUST in Ottawa today. “More than 600 civilians and military personnel representing multiple allied nations are expected to run tomorrow in the heat, dust and altitude of Kandahar Air Field (KAF), Afghanistan in the KAF Canada Army Run ….” Good luck to all the participants.
- Afghanistan (3) A bit of one Canadian Forces Info-Machine worker’s story in Kabul. “…. It is a somewhat surreal experience to be standing here in Afghanistan. The hot barren mountains of the Hindu Kush which surround the city have been witness to a dramatic stream of human history. I am now part of that history. As I ride in a convoy through the streets of Kabul I am amazed at the differences, and the similarities between here and Canada. On a side street, for example, I see a young father holding the seat of a bicycle while his son learns to ride. The feeling that most consumes me is an overwhelming sense of responsibility. I have a responsibility to the Afghan people who smile and wave to me on the street. I have a responsibility to the mission, and I have an inherent responsibility to those Canadians who have preceded me here. It is their dedication and sacrifice that passes the torch to me. I do not accept it lightly ….”
- “The Royal Canadian Mint has donated $10,000 to the Military Families Fund, raised from sales of its 2010 25-cent poppy coin collector card. The Military Families Fund is a non-profit organization that assist military families who land on unforeseen needs resulted from conditions of service. When launching the 25-cent collector card last October, it was announced all profits would be donated ….”
- Way Up North Senator Colin Kenny on how Canada can show that the Arctic is important. “…. If Canadians want to maintain our sovereignty in the Arctic, we should start demonstrating that we give a damn about the Arctic. Imposing tough environmental regulations on drilling would signal that we are not only in control in our portion of the Arctic, but that we deserve to be.”
- Historian Jack Granatstein on what REALLY drives Canadian foreign and defence policy: “…. for the Harper government, the new reality is that Alberta attitudes drive defence policy, not Quebec opinions. Virtually every opinion poll over recent decades has shown attitudes in Alberta consistently more hawkish than quasi-pacifist opinion in French Canada. The Tories have little support in Quebec, and the last election confirmed that they don’t need Quebec M.P.s to create a parliamentary majority. The coming addition of some thirty more seats in the House of Commons for Ontario and the West will entrench this new reality. In the circumstances, the Conservatives have a free hand to build the defence and foreign policy that suits their view of the world. And they will ….”
- Remembering the Battle of Britain, 71 years later, with a renewed name. ” “For the first time in more than 40 years, we will celebrate the Battle of Britain with the restored name of the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said the Honorable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence …. The Battle of Britain, the first major campaign to be conducted entirely in the air, took place in the skies over south eastern Britain and the English Channel from July to October 1940. Vastly outnumbered by the German Luftwaffe, allied pilots and aircrews, including more than 100 Canadian pilots, held the enemy at bay and prevented Hitler’s planned invasion of Great Britain ….”
Written by milnews.ca
18 September 11 at 9:00
Tagged with Afghanistan, Army Run, CDS challenger flight, CDS flight to St. Maarten, Colin Kenny, Jack Granatstein, Kabul, Kandahar, Kandahar Air Field, Ken Stewart, Military Families Fund, military news, milnews.ca, Mission Transition Task Force, MTTF, Royal Canadian Mint, Walt Natynczyk, water fuel and environment technician, WFE tech
- 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 milnews.ca
9 December 10 at 7:45
Tagged with Akwesasne, Asco Aerospace, Assembly of First Nations, Auditor General, Canada's quarterly report on Afghanistan, Canadian COIN manual, Canadian counterinsurgency manual, CANSOFCOM, chinook, counterinsurgency, Cyclone, Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35, Highway of Heroes coin, House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence, Joint Strike Fighter, JTF-2, Lawrence Cannon, military news, milnews.ca, Mohawk, NDDN, New Veterans Charter, Office of the Auditor General, Peter MacKay, Royal Canadian Mint, Saab Gripen, Sheila Fraser, Stockwell Day, transsexual dress regulations