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PHOTO FEATURE

Canadians are mourning the tragic loss of another member of the Canadian Armed Forces after Capt Jenn Casey died in a Snowbirds accident in Kamloops. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

PHOTO FEATURE

All of us at FrontLine join with Canada in offering heart-felt condolences to the friends and family of each of the five missing CAF members. A repatriation ceremony took place on 6 May 2020.

PHOTO FEATURE

All of us at FrontLine join with Canada in offering heart-felt condolences to the friends and family of each of the five missing CAF members. A repatriation ceremony took place on 6 May 2020.

PHOTO FEATURE

All of us at FrontLine join with Canada in offering heart-felt condolences to the friends and family of each of the five missing CAF members. A repatriation ceremony took place on 6 May 2020.

PHOTO FEATURE

All of us at FrontLine join with Canada in offering heart-felt condolences to the friends and family of each of the five missing CAF members. A repatriation ceremony took place on 6 May 2020.

PHOTO FEATURE

Partial remains of Capt MacDonald have now been identified. FrontLine joins with Canada in offering heart-felt condolences to friends and family. A repatriation ceremony took place on 6 May 2020.

PHOTO FEATURE

All of us at FrontLine join with Canada in offering heart-felt condolences to the friends and family of SLt Abbigail Cowbrough. A repatriation ceremony took place on 6 May 2020.

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IN THE NEWS

Jun 04

The Department of National Defence is being accused by New Democratic Party defence critic James Bezan of using the COVID-19 pandemic an excuse for withholding information. DND suggests that there is a timeliness issue arising from having staff working remotely with limited access to files.

Jun 04

In a program watched closely by Canada and other allies, the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command has budgeted $106 million in 2021 for the first five of a proposed procurement of up to 75 light attack aircraft for ground support. They would replace the current AFSOC fleet of U-28 Dracos, modified Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprops.

Jun 04

An updated Russian policy permitting a nuclear response to a conventional strike against government and military infrastructure has been endorsed by President Vladimir Putin. It reflects concerns about U.S. potential to knock out key assets with convention weapons.

Jun 04

Counting on increased demand by European and Asian militaries for more sophisticated digital communications, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel is offering its latest software-defined radios. Partnership programs in Indian and Germany set the stage for similar market pushes elsewhere, including Britain.

Jun 04

A newly-released report to the UN Security Council that some elements of the Taliban maintain ties with the al-Qaeda terrorist network is seen as evidence of the fragility of the U.S. peace talks with the Taliban. Among other things, the report states that “Al-Qaida has reacted positively to the agreement, with statements from its acolytes celebrating it as a victory for the Taliban’s cause and thus for global militancy.”

Jun 04

The 2020 Canada Army Run set for September has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Organizers have given entrants until 12 June to decide whether to participate in a “virtual” race or defer to next year.

Jun 04

President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy active duty military personnel to crack down on public protests has been openly challenged by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. The former infantry officer said 3 June that invocation of the Insurrection Act must be “a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire situations.”

Jun 04

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has denounced President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy Army personnel to quell protests in several U.S. cities. “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution,” the retired Marine General writes. Mattis quit the cabinet in 2018 over Trump’s policy on Syria.

Jun 03

A contract valued at $35 million was awarded to Zodiac Hurricane Technologies for the acquisition of 30 new multi-role boats. In a press release, Defence Minister Sajjan said the "new multi-role boats represent an important investment in our Navy and the women and men who serve Canada.”

Jun 03

A Canada-U.S. team has completed recovery of the RCAF CH-148 Cyclone helicopter which crashed 29 April in the Ionian Sea, killing all six personnel aboard. In a statement on 3 June 2020, RAdm Craig Baines said that “multiple pieces” of the aircraft as well as “some remains” had been retrieved from a depth of more than 3,000 metres, using a remotely-operated vehicle provided by the U.S. Navy. The remains are to be sent to Toronto for forensic examination to confirm the victims’ identities. Click for full statement.

Jun 02

The RCAF deployed two CF-188 Hornets and a CP-140 Aurora and the RCN sent the supply ship Asterix and the frigate Ville de Quebec to a joint exercise off the east coast last week with the U.S. Northern, Space, Transportation and Strategic commands. Designed to test their response to an attack on the U.S., with a USAF B-1B bomber playing the role of enemy infiltrator, the four-day exercise ended 31 May.

Jun 02

NATO is being accused by Russia of conducting “provocative” exercises near its borders and has proposed that each side scale down activities for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The accusation follows recent NATO maneuvers in the Barents Sea which Russia says emulated strikes on its territory and the interception of ballistic missiles. Russia also cited what it says are increasing flights by USAF B-1B strategic bombers in other border areas.

Jun 02

Lower unit costs are being reported in the costliest single military procurement in U.S. history, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but there are concerns about ongoing support and upgrades for the stealthy aircraft. The latest annual Pentagon assessment shows development and procurement costs have been trimmed by 7.1% to $397.8 billion, but the bill for lifecycle operating and maintenance is projected to rise 7.8 per cent to more than $1.18 trillion.

Jun 02

A series of often violent protests in several major cities following the death of another black man in police custody in Minneapolis prompted President Donald Trump to insist 1 June that state governors call out their National Guard units to resolve the situations. “If a city or state refuses . . . I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

Jun 02

Legal experts are parsing President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy the U.S. military to put down continued and sometimes violent protests in several cities after the death of a black man in police custody. Even though the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act precludes that kind of intervention, the 1807 Insurrection Act does give the President authority to deploy federal forces in states unable to put down an insurrection or where federal law is being defied. The exports do agree that legal challenges are inevitable and some state governors are calling Trump’s move an overreaction

Jun 01

A new European Union budget plan would restore most of the bloc’s defence priorities once COVID-19 has been addressed. The European Defence Fund and the Military Mobility initiative would receive €8 billion and €1.5 billion respectively, over the next seven years. Lower than earlier proposals for €13 billion and €6.5 billion, the latest revision is an improvement from recent negotiations involving EU members hit hard by the pandemic.

Jun 01

A suggestion by U.S. President Donald Trump that Russia rejoin the G7 Summit group of nations has been flatly dismissed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago,” he said 1 June. “Its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7, and will continue to remain out.”

Jun 01

In a preliminary report released on 1 June, DND’s Airworthiness Investigative Authority noted that while there has not yet been a final determination of the Snowbirds crash that killed Captain Jenn Casey, detailed analysis of video footage shows one bird “in very close proximity” to the starboard engine air intake shortly after takeoff from Kamloops, B.C.

Jun 01

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says Canada and four other countries are “pressing” Iran to release the flight data and cockpit voice recorders from Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, shot down by Iranian missiles minutes 08 January shortly after takeoff fom Tehran airport. They had been promised by 25 March, which essentially coincided with a COVID-19 eruption in Iran.

Jun 01

Injured military veterans were waiting an average of more than eight months at the end of April to learn whether were eligible for financial assistance from the government. The 34.5-week average was two weeks longer than at the beginning of 2020, when there were more than 46,200 backlogged applications. Veterans Affairs has not said whether COVID-19 is a factor as staff process applications while working from home.

Jun 01

The 1,657 Canadian Armed Forces personnel sent to long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec as part of the COVID-19 response are eligible for the same benefits as those serving overseas, says the Chief of the Defence Staff. Gen Jonathan Vance says designation of the assignment as a “specialty operation” during the pandemic “ensures that members have the timeliest access to disability and pension programs."

Jun 01

The first privately-operated spacecraft ferrying crew to the International Space Station docked 31 May some 19 hours after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The success of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which carried two U.S. astronauts but was completely automated, sets the stage for more U.S. missions later this year rather than continuing to rely on Russian launch capabilities.

May 29

Navantia, a Spanish state-owned shipbuilder, has formed a joint venture with Northern Ireland’s Harland & Wolff to pursue a contract for up to three logistics ships which would support the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. The British defence ministry cancelled the program last year, saying initial bids did not represent value for money, but is expected to restart the procurement in September.

May 29

Three contracts worth a combined $1.425 billion for upgrades to Kuwait’s Patriot missile defence system have been approved by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Still subject to congressional endorsement and then negotiation of details, the upgrades are described as necessary for “greater security for its critical oil and natural gas infrastructure.”

May 29

Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini is rejecting calls on his government to cancel its procurement of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters. Responding to calls by another political party which wants funds redirected to rebuilding the country’s economy in a post COVID-19 environment, he counters that cancellation would damage an industrial sector which offers “very significant economic returns to our nation.”

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