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PHOTO FEATURE

19 June – Domestic Response Co 3 and Augmented Civilian Care Team 2 receive a plaque commemorating the work of the military from Gale Coburn of Hawthorne Place Care Centre.

Cpl Justin Dreimanis, 4th Canadian Div
Sub-Lieutenant Andriy Kolomyytsev
PHOTO FEATURE

5 June – SLt Andriy Kolomyytsev onboard HMCS Fredericton coordinates manoeuvers between ship and weapons operators during a Fast Attack Craft response simulation.

Cpl Simon Arcand, Canadian Armed Forces
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IN THE NEWS

Aug 05

Last fall, leaders in the biosecurity field ranked the U.S. at the top of the Global Health Security Index, which graded 195 countries in terms of their preparedness to fight outbreaks. Canada ranked fifth behind the U.K., the Netherlands and Australia. President Donald Trump even held up the copy of that report during a White House briefing last February. So what happened when COVID-19 hit? The Journal Nature offers an explanation and looks ahead.

Aug 05

The main element of this year’s Operation Nanook, Canada’s biennial northern sovereignty exercise, which began 3 August, has been scaled down due to the continued impact of COVID-19. However, it also has taken on a distinct NATO look with the participation of Danish, French and U.S. ships and is focusing on gunnery and ship-tracking exercises.

Aug 05

General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada has begun production of Armoured Combat Support Vehicles t its London plant. Replacing the Army’s M113 Tracked Light Armoured Vehicles and LAV II Bisons, the ACSVs will fulfill a variety of roles such as command posts, ambulances, troops and cargo transports, and mobile repair and recovery platforms.

Aug 05

Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s Chief Public Officer of Health, says Canadians should no expect a COVID-19 vaccine to quickly end the pandemic. “We're going to have to manage this pandemic certainly over the next year,” she said 4 August, adding that the country should be prepared “for the longer term of the next two to three years during which the vaccine may play a role.”

Aug 05

After the federal government information watchdog testified to finding evidence of internal activity to thwart access to information searches related to the failed case against VAdm Mark Norman, the Public Prosecutions office had contacted the RCMP in March 2019. The RCMP determined it was in a conflict of interest due to its investigation of Norman and it had planned to refer the case to the OPP. However, “due to an administrative error and changes in senior staff at the time, it appears we never made that referral,” said RCMP spokesman Daniel Brien in response to recent questions from the Ottawa Citizen.

Aug 05

New ways for foreign buyers of U.S. arms are being developed in an effort to ensure that allies and others don’t drop planned procurements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Army LGen Charles Hooper, says one option would be financing arms procurement through U.S. bank loans and altering existing payment schedules.

Aug 04

DND has confirmed that it will supply a Lockheed Martin CC-130 Hercules for continued support of UN peacekeeping efforts in Africa for another year. The RCAF transports have operated out of Uganda since 2017, fulfilling a commitment by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a peacekeeping summit that year.

Aug 04

Construction of an Arctic refuelling station at Nanisivik, announced by the federal government in 2007, now is not expected to be operational until at least 2022. A key element of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s northern strategy, the port was to service federal ships, including patrol vessels, the first of which entered just last week. The constraints of a limited summer construction season have been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19.

Aug 04

Hoping to address concerns about growing Russian and Chinese influence in the Arctic and Antarctic, President Donald Trump wants the U.S. government to outline how it could “at least three heavy polar-class” vessels and smaller support ships, potentially nuclear-powered. A senior U.S. Coast Guard official has agreed that the U.S. lacks “the ability to project the presence we need” in the polar regions simultaneously.

Aug 04

Most of the costs of having 5,00 U.S. troops stationed in Poland as part of a new security cooperation deal will be borne by the Polish government. That positions Warsaw to surpass the NATO goal of spending two per cent of GDP on defence by 2024.

Aug 04

Boeing has received a $265 million U.S. Army contract for nine more MH-47G Chinook transport helicopters for Special Operations Aviation Command. It increases the total under contract to 24 of an expected 69.

Aug 04

President Donald Trump has bypassed the congressional approval process by appointing retired Army BGen Anthony Tata as Acting Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. The Senate Armed Services Committee had cancelled a confirmation hearing when it became clear that there wasn’t enough Republic support for Tata’s appointment to the Pentagon’s top policy job.

Aug 04

BAE Systems has completed a $1.9 billion purchase of Collins Aerospace’s military GPS business from Raytheon Technologies Corp. The acquisition follows a merger of United Technologies Corp. and Raytheon approved by the U.S. government in March subject divestment UTC’s military GPS and large space-based optical systems businesses, as well as Raytheon’s military airborne radios business.

Aug 04

Two U.S. astronauts returned to earth 02 August aboard a SpaceX capsule, completing the first commercial crewed mission to the International Space Station and the first all-American mission since the Space Shuttle was retired and the U.S. had to rely on Russian launch facilities. They were launched to the ISS at the end of May on a SpaceX Falcon rocket.

Jul 31

The RCN marked a most significant milestone in its shipbuilding programme with a July 31st delivery of the first new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) built by Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax.  

Jul 31

The three potential aircraft manufacturers bidding to supply the next generation of RCAF fighters evidently met the government’s 31 July deadline. Lockheed Martin is offering its F-35 Lightning II, Boeing its F/A-18 Super Hornet, and Saab its Gripen E. The government could make a decision by year’s end, setting up for initial delivery in 2025.

Jul 31

U.S. Navy plans to test a range of weapons off the West Coast is encountering resistance in Washington state. Gov Jay Inslee’s administration is concerned about the effect on the resident Orca population and other marine life despite a federal study which concluded that the impact would be “negligible.”

Jul 31

The proposed appointment of former Army BGen Anthony Tata as the senior policy officer in the U.S. Department of Defense is reported to have been withdrawn by the administration. Senate confirmation hearings were abruptly ended 30 July to unspecified “obstacles” but Tata has been criticized for politically-loaded public comments.

Jul 31

Shortly after Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed plans for a lengthy and costly withdrawal of 11,900 U.S. personnel from Germany, President Donald Trump seems to have put another option on the table by suggesting that the troops could remain if Germany increases its NATO budget.

Jul 30

Nearly 12,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Germany as soon as is practicable, the Department of Defense has confirmed, but it has left open the possibility that they could be recalled for rotating deployments elsewhere in Europe. “This plan is subject to, and likely will, change to some degree as it evolves over time,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters 29 July.

Jul 30

President Donald Trump says he did not discuss with Vladimir Putin allegations that Russia had offered Taliban extremists bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. His rationale during an interview was that the intelligence behind the claim was suspect and that he believes Putin does not want to “get involved” in the region.

Jul 30

Babel Street, a data analytics company headquartered in Reston, Va., says major Chinese technology and manufacturing concerns not only have links with their government but also help to expand China’s influence into other countries’ manufacturing sectors. Moreover, it says, China and Russia coordinate their investments to avoid conflict.

Jul 29

Canadian involvement in the war against ISIS has entered a new phase which requires fewer troops compared with up to 850 at one point. About half the contingent was recalled in March when COVID-19 began its global spread, the expectation being that most would eventually be redeployed. However, Army BGen Michael Wright, head of Joint Task Force IMPACT, says allied commanders have determined the Iraqi military is now largely able to fight ISIS unaided.

Jul 29

Three months after the crash of its Lockheed Martin Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter crashed off the coast of Greece, killing all six aboard, the frigate HMCS Fredericton has returned to its homeport of Halifax. It was docked in Italy for two weeks after the crash but resumed its NATO deployment in mid-May.

Jul 29

U.S. Army plans for a future long-range assault rotorcraft evidently are being pushed toward a prototype contract award in 2022. A draft proposal is expected by the end of this year, setting up for a Request for Proposals in 2021. Bell and Lockheed Martin Sikorsky are the potential suppliers.

ISSUES & IDEAS

CGAI's picture

Ross Fetterley reflects on annual defence budgets and the impact on capabilities from long-term funding shifts as COVID continues to force the federal government to implement measures that will inject liquidity into the economy.

CWGC's picture

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is offering to personally lay tributes at graves and memorials in Normandy on behalf of relatives and veterans who cannot travel. 

Chris's picture

The federal government has done, and is continuing to do a very credible job of providing solid information and leadership during the health crisis facing the globe. Someone should tell Andrew Scheer to stop making COVID-19 a misguided political campaign (he lost already) and get onboard with trying to help Canadians deal constructively with the many challenges. 

FEATURED ARTICLES

2020
Issue 1