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Cormorant cockpit
PHOTO FEATURE

View from Canadian Forces Cormorant 442 Squadron helicopter following the final evacuation flight rescuing motorists stranded between landslides outside Agassiz, BC.

(Photo: Tom Zajac)
442 Rescue Squadron
PHOTO FEATURE

Stranded motorists trapped between dangerous landslides are airlifted in a Cormorant helicopter from 442 Rescue Squadron. The mission ultimately airlifted 331 people, 26 dogs, and a cat.

(Photo: Tom Zajac)
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IN THE NEWS

Dec 02

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Dec. 1 that Russia faces “severe costs” if it invades neighbouring Ukraine and that NATO is ready to increase its presence. “We must prepare for all contingencies,” Blinken said after an alliance ministerial meeting in Riga ahead of a planned meeting in Sweden today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Dec 02

Public Services and Procurement Canada has confirmed that Lockheed Martin and Saab are the only contenders that “remain eligible” in the long-delayed plan to supply the RCAF with 88 new fighters as replacement for its legacy fleet of CF-188 Hornets.

Dec 02

A United States Space Priorities Framework issued Dec. 1 by the White House is designed to “transition to a more resilient national security space posture and strengthen its ability to detect and attribute hostile acts in space.” It also, among other things, commits to space-based observation to “support action on climate change” and to protect “space-related critical infrastructure.”

Dec 02

The UN says the global need for humanitarian aid is rocketing toward an all-time high in 2022 as COVID-19, climate change and regional conflicts exacerbate the prospect of widespread famine. Accordingly, its humanitarian relief arm appealed today for a record US$41 billion in funding to help people it says are most in need, up from $35 billion in 2021 and double what it sought four years ago.

Dec 02

President Vladimir Putin said Dec. 1 that he wants “legal guarantees” that NATO would stop deployments near Ukraine’s borders with Russia. “Any agreements must take interests of Russia and all Euro-Atlantic countries into account,” he told newly-accredited foreign diplomats. “A calm and stable situation must be ensured for all.”

Dec 01

Lockheed Martin has developed a pared-down F-35 trainer with 90 per cent less hardware which could see air forces expand their training capacity at reduced cost. F-35 Mission Rehearsal Trainer Lightning Integrated Training Environment was unveiled after some 18 months of development and demonstrations to customers.

Dec 01

Even as Boeing is set to begin delivering 351 new T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainers, developed with Saab, to the USAF in 2023 under a $9.2-billion contract awarded in 2018, the service is already considering a new aircraft which would emulate the latest-generation frontline fighters. Its release of a Request for Information is prompting questions about strategies and priorities.

Dec 01

European Union defence ministers have approved 14 collaborative projects designed to boost the bloc’s military capabilities in in many domains. They include a new large strategic long-haul air transport, a semi-autonomous naval vessel, a “next-generation” small drone and a “three-step approach combining training for space military operations, space resilience and access to space and in-space maneuverability.

Dec 01

NORAD’s commanding officer, USAF Gen Glen VanHerck, said a visit to Ottawa that included a briefing for political and military leaders, has acknowledged that the evolving threat of hypersonic weapons is “very challenging” for him “going forward.” While it was not an immediate priority, he told reporters that since “the most important mission I do is provide threat warning and attack assessment . . . hypersonics will challenge my ability to do that.”

Dec 01

Discrete mission-specific weapons appear to be on the way out for the U.S. Air Force as it transitions to generic munitions with “low-cost, swappable” payloads that can be used in a variety of ways. MGen Jason R. Armagost, a global strike command planner, disclosed the plan Nov. 30, saying that the “multi-domain” munitions would comprise the main body of USAF conventional weaponry. Its only specialty weapons likely would be long-range missiles and heavy munitions.

Nov 30

Israeli companies like GADFIN develop very advanced drones that can play a very important role in homeland security and disaster operations. The most recent system  unveiled by GADFIN is called Spirit One. Epitomizing the next generation of drone technology, it enables a fully autonomous drone delivery network based on its record-breaking long range eVTOLs.

Nov 30

The Ehud air combat maneuvering instrumentation and analysis system from IAI played a major role in the recent international Blue Flag exercise held recently in Israel. 

Nov 30

The chief Airbus Defence and Space engineer on the Eurodrone project said Nov. 30 that she expects the industry to move ahead on Europe’s premier unmanned aerial system program in a couple of months. “We have the green light from Germany, from Italy and from France, and we are in the waiting . . . on Spain,” Daniela Lohwasser said. An engine supplier has yedt to be chosen but she expects a successful bid would be confirmed “right right after contract signature.”

Nov 30

William LaPlante, a former U.S. assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition until he left for the private sector in 2015, has been tapped to become Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment for the Department of Defense.

Nov 30

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned NATO against deploying troops and weapons to Ukraine, saying it would be crossing a “red line” for him because it could threaten his country. “I hope that it will not get to that and common sense and responsibility for their own countries and the global community will eventually prevail,” he said Nov. 30.

Nov 30

The U.S. Defense Department says its latest annual global posture review is “complete” but it has been derided by Benjamin H. Friedman, policy director at the Defense Priorities think-tank. “It arrives at last today, sort of, with a whimper,” he said Nov. 29. “The Pentagon . . . issued a short press release heralding its achievements, which appear to be none. . . . The Pentagon effectively patted itself on the shoulder in secret and told taxpayers ‘trust us; all is well.’ It isn’t.”

Nov 30

Fifteen scaled-down versions of a 2,000-lb air-launched autonomous cargo delivery drone developed by Los Angeles-based Silent Arrow have been ordered by the U.S. Air Force for deployment at high altitude and air speed. The company said the 500lb drone, deployable from platforms as small as a Cessna Caravan, is designed to carry up to 350lbs of cargo for “humanitarian and tactical markets.”

Nov 30

Military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense company, has signed a deal with two Ukrainian businesses to upgrade Ukrainian-made versions of the Russian-designed Mi-8 medium-lift helicopter. More than 17,000 have been produced and, still manufactured today, are flown in 80 countries and an Aselsan official says “the deal will involve all Mi-8s in the inventory of several militaries.”

Nov 30

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is suing his erstwhile department, saying it is improperly withholding information he wants to include in a “unvarnished and candid memoir” memoir of his turbulent time in the Trump administration. Filed Nov. 28, the claim says his memoir covers “an unprecedented time of civil unrest, public health crises, growing threats abroad, Pentagon transformation, and a White House seemingly bent on circumventing the Constitution.”

Nov 30

Four weeks after the U.S. Department of Defense said it had found no evidence of misconduct in a drone strike that killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan in March 2019, the department opened up new investigation Nov. 29. Gen Michael X. Garrett, head of Army Forces Command, has been 90 days by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to review the strike and how its results were briefed up the chain of command. The New York Times, which broke the story, said the original investigation by the Inspector General reportedly was “stalled and stripped of any mention of the strike.”

Nov 30

Yet another partial shutdown of the U.S. government is looming as Congress struggles to strike a deal on a stopgap budget measure. Congress avoided a shutdown in October by passing a short-term budget extension which is in effect until Dec. 3 in the hope that it would give political negotiators time to work out a full-year spending plan for the current fiscal year

Nov 30

The U.S. wants Canada to commit medical units and drones to UN peacekeeping missions and to fulfill a commitment at a November 2017 UN ministerial meeting in Vancouver to provide a 200-member military rapid-reaction force. Part of preparations for a summit next week in South Korea, the request came in a diplomatic note to Global Affairs Canada dated Nov. 8 which thanks Canada for previous deployments but stresses the need to do more.

Nov 30

Metin Gurcan, a defence analyst and co-founder of the Turkish opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), has been jailed pending trial for what President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government says was “political and military espionage.” The retired member of the Turkish Armed Forces helped establish DEVA with Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister and minister under Erdogan.

Nov 30

Human Rights Watch said today that the Taliban have summarily killed or “disappeared” more than 100 former Afghan police and intelligence officers since taking power in mid-August. The New York-based group says the Taliban have been using employment records to targeted those who surrendered and were promised amnesty. “The pattern of killings has sown terror throughout Afghanistan, as no one associated with the former government can feel,” the group says.

Nov 30

The Russian navy has tested a missile President Vladimir Putin says is capable of flying at Mach 9 with a range of 1,000km. The Zircon cruise missile is reportedly one of several hypersonic weapons under development in Russia.

ISSUES & IDEAS

Scott Newark's picture

As a general description of the Government’s intended policy agenda going forward, the following Throne Speech extracts are of potential relevance to Safety & Security readers.

Chris MacLean's picture

What are economists in Canada saying about efforts to guide a strong recovery? What are epidemiologists around the globe saying about the swing towards vaccine-resistant mutations that will render current vaccines ineffective?

As the Taliban sweeps across Afghanistan, it is important to appreciate how the dire situation faced by Afghan interpreters is re-traumatizing Canadian Veterans and causing distress to their families.

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