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FrontLine wishes you peace, health and happiness during this time of personal introspection, prayer and fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad.

CF-18 Hornet fighter from 401 Tactical Support Sqn
PHOTO FEATURE

23 Mar – Airbus CC-150 Polaris from 437 Transport Squadron Trenton, conducts refueling operations with a CF-18 Hornet fighter from 401 Tactical Support Sqn Cold Lake.

Photo: MCpl PJ Letourneau
Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Chief Marcel Moody
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1 Apr (Northern Manitoba) – Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Chief Marcel Moody speaks with Land Task Force members involved in vaccine roll-outs during Operation Vector.

Photo: Sailor 3rd Class Megan Sterritt
Members from 2 Field Ambulance and 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
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31 Mar – Members from 2 Field Ambulance and 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery at Canadian Armed Forces staging hub in Thompson, Manitoba during Operation Vector.

Photo: Sailor 3rd Class Megan Sterritt
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26 Mar – Norwegian frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl and British frigate HMS Lancaster conclude a 5-day exercise, enhancing allied ability to conduct integrated multi-domain maritime operations. 

Photo: Marius Villanger, RNN
Royal Canadian Dragoons conduct level 2 and 3 patrols
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24 Mar – Royal Canadian Dragoons conduct level 2 and 3 patrols (troop-level firing movements) in the Petawawa training area, to be operationally ready for deployments.

Photo: Corporal Sarah Morley
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IN THE NEWS

Apr 21

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least May 21, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair confirmed on social media April 20, saying that “we will continue to base our decisions on the best public health advice available.” Meanwhile, a New York congressman is urging both federal governments to craft a plan to reopen the border, insisting that “with vaccines, face masks and good physical distancing, we can do so safely and successfully.”

Apr 21

Russian President Vladimir Putin used his latest annual state of the nation speech to warn the West not to cross a “red line” which would trigger an “asymmetrical, rapid and harsh” response. He also complained today that Western powers are constantly trying to “pick on” Russia.

Apr 21

Russia insists it has the right to restrict foreign naval movements in the Black Sea off Crimea. Ukraine, the European Commission and the U.S. have protested the tactic.

Apr 21

Disturbing testimony about the Canadian Armed Forces’ response to rape complaints has been presented by witnesses appearing remotely before the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women.

Apr 21

The Bank of Canada opted today to keep its benchmark interest rate at the record-low 0.25 per cent which has prevailed since March 2020. It explained that the COVID-19 response “continues to require extraordinary monetary policy support” and that the rate is unlikely to change until possibly the latter half of 2022.

Apr 21

Lockheed Martin Chief Financial Officer Kenneth R. Possenriede says that sustainment of F-35 fighter fleets will be increasingly lucrative as the U.S. and other customers ramp up deployment.

Apr 21

Britain has agreed to spend £1.4 billion on 14 Boeing Chinook helicopters but will defer the procurement for three due to concerns about short-term budgetary issues.

Apr 21

A German-built submarine operated by Indonesia with a crew of 53 was reported missing today in deep water off the northern coast of the island of Bali. Australia and Singapore have been asked to assist in the search.

Apr 21

Germany’s Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, says she will continue to press for armed Eurodrones even though a parliamentary budget committee wants the Franco-German aircraft to remain unarmed. The committee has agreed that the program should proceed but that that arming the platforms presents ethical challenges.

Apr 21

The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked by the White House to reject a petition calling for the men-only Selective Service to be declared unconstitutional. Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar says the petition is premature because Congress is working on the issue.

Apr 16

Air Force Gen Glen VanHerck, head of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, says his country must develop a more persistent Arctic presence. “You have to be on the field,” he says in a Pentagon press release, adding that capabilities are still in the “game plan development” stage. “We're not able to have the persistence that I need to compete day-to-day in the Arctic.”

Apr 16

NATO officials have vowed to boost the alliance’s cyber defences. During an April 15 virtual conference, they added the commitment to an overarching decision to prevent catastrophic disruptions of member states. Host Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said “malicious” activities had increased as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved and that the alliance needed to “recognize that cyberspace is at the forefront of increased global competition, and democratic nations must stand together against deviations from acceptable behavior.”

Apr 15

The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on Russia and formally blamed its SVR intelligence agency for last year’s massive SolarWinds breach of government and corporate systems. Designed to choke off lending to the Kremlin, the sanctions against 32 entities and individuals coincided with diplomatic expulsions in Washington. Also, in collaboration with allies, the U.S. has sanctioned eight individuals and entities associated with Russia’s occupation of Crimea.

Apr 15

The 2,500 U.S. military personnel remaining in Afghanistan on training and counterterrorism missions are to be withdrawn over the next five months, President Joe Biden confirmed April 15. “We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the draw and expecting a different result,” he said. “I’m now the fourth United States president to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan. . . . I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth.”

Apr 15

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the non-U.S. members of the alliance will withdraw some 7,000 troops in parallel with Washington’s planned drawdown. “We will start the withdrawal of NATO Resolute Support forces by May 1,” he confirmed after a meeting with the U.S. secretaries of Defence and State. “We plan to complete the withdrawal of all our troops within a few months.”

Apr 15

The U.S. has decided not to deploy two warships into the Black Sea from the Mediterranean amid concerns about the Russian building on Ukraine’s borders. The Turkish foreign ministry, which disclosed the plan to transit the Bosphorus Strait, says the U.S. embassy in Ankara had notified it of the decision.

Apr 15

Interoperability with evolving cloud-computing technologies is presenting a challenge for NATO as it tries to set alliance-wide standards. France, Germany and the U.S. have already initiated their own programs but a researcher points out that “showing results quickly is important for NATO to give a common direction.”

Apr 15

The U.S. Air Force’s trouble-plagued Boeing KC-46 air-to-air refuelling platform is supposed to be configured with a palletized toilet and galley. However, it’s reported that the toilet cannot be used due to the risk of a leaking holding tank, which evidently limits the aircraft’s flight times with a large number of passengers.

Apr 14

The “ongoing build-up of Russian forces on Ukraine’s borders” is the focus of a visit to Brussels by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian officials to discuss the prospect of a joint NATO statement. “There are more Russian forces massed on those borders than at any time since 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine,” Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker said. , who leads the State Department’s European affairs bureau, told reporters. “At the same time, Russia has had a disinformation campaign blatantly designed to falsely blame Ukraine for what are the Kremlin's own actions.”

Apr 14

An RCAF Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter landed in a Halifax-area park April 12 after the crew noticed a cockpit warning indicator during a routine flight from nearby 12 Wing Shearwater. There were no injuries or damage and the aircraft was towed back to the base later in the day.

Apr 14

The Canadian Security Intelligence Services says last year saw the highest level of foreign espionage and interference directed at Canadian targets since the end of the Cold War. “The fluid and rapidly evolving environment caused by COVID-19 has created a situation ripe for exploitation,” CSIS Director David Vigneault says in his latest annual report. “Violent extremism, foreign interference, espionage and malicious cyber activity, accelerated, evolved and in many ways became much more serious.”

Apr 14

An international security think tank is calling on the U.S. and its allies to press for new rules governing the use of outer space. The Washington-based Atlantic Council argues in an April122 report that with more than 70 countries having national space programs, “space governance is prime for a reboot.”

Apr 14

The British defence ministry’s director general for strategy and international issues, Angus Lapsley, said April 12 that his country’s planned increase in its nuclear warhead stockpile will not be affected if the U.S. abandons plans for a new submarine-launched warhead. “There is a certain amount of . . . mutual support we can provide each other in taking those programs forward,” he acknowledged. “But you end up with a U.K. warhead and an American warhead.”

Apr 14

A surge in Chinese companies’ investment in U.S. defence suppliers has prompted the Pentagon to approve more than $311 million in potential partnerships with the private sector in a bid to contain Beijing;s influence. The Trusted Capital program targets, among others, companies involved in artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

Apr 14

Reversing the former administration’s move to reduce the number of U.S. troops stationed in Germany, the U.S. plans to increase its presence by 500 more personnel. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed the plan April 13 after talks with his counterpart, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, in Berlin.

ISSUES & IDEAS

Chris MacLean's picture

On all three counts against him, former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the deadly-force arrest of George Floyd. It's an important step on a journey that must not pause.

Ken Pole's picture

While there were no major military capital projects in the federal budget tabled on 19 April, it reinforces a policy that will impact the Future Fighter Capability Project and many others going forward.

TONY BATTISTA's picture

When it comes to criminal investigations, changes to the National Defence Act could remove the possibility and perception of interference by the chain of command, would make the military police accountable to the law, and will go a long way to rebuilding trust in the Canadian Armed Forces.

FEATURED ARTICLES

2020
Issue 2