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PHOTO FEATURE

7 Jan – CF-188 Hornet aircraft heads home after being deployed to Op Reassurance–Air Task Force Romania, at the Mihail Kogӑlniceanu Airbase.

Photo: LS Erica Seymour
Minister Sajjan briefed by BGen St-Louis in Kuwait
PHOTO FEATURE

16 Jan - Defence Minister Sajjan is briefed by Joint Task Force-IMPACT (JTF-I) Commander, BGen Michel-Henri St-Louis, at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait.

Photo: Cpl Jerome Lessard
PHOTO FEATURE

22 Jan – Members of 2nd Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment, board a Griffon helicopter with French members of 13e bataillon de chasseurs alpins during exercise Castor Tricolore.

Photo: Cpl Marc-André Leclerc
Parachute training
PHOTO FEATURE

Jan 15 – Winter training jumps keep military parachutist skills up to date. The training took place near Base Valcartier.

Photo: Cpl Genevieve Beaulieu
Mountain rappel near Valcartier
PHOTO FEATURE

29 Jan – Mountain rappel training during Exercise Castore Tricolore at Mont Greccio in Valcartier.

Photo: Sgt Sébastien Fréchette
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IN THE NEWS

Feb 21

Unmanned aerial systems figure prominently in Turkey’s military procurement plan for 2020. They include attack and cargo platforms, some of which are relatively new.

Feb 21

More than 1,100 U.S. veterans have criticized President Donald Trump for his ongoing attacks on LCol Alexander Vindman, who testified during the recent congressional impeachment hearings. “The president should know that, despite taking aim at one Army officer, he has targeted anyone who currently wears — or has worn — the uniform,” the group states in an open letter. “Our service members and veterans deserve the confidence of knowing that our elected leaders will come to their defense.”

Feb 21

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is warning that the U.S. “can’t continue” to tolerate Russian “noncompliance” with the 2002 Open Skies treaty which ostensibly permits signatories to overfly each others’ territories. He told reporters 19 February that while Washington has yet to decide whether to remain involved in the treaty and that he takes “no view one way or the other” on arms control, there are ongoing issues with Russia about where U.S. aircraft can fly and what types of cameras are permitted.

Feb 21

German Army BGen Fritz Urbach, the European Union's first defence attaché to Canada, is no stranger to this country. Accredited 19 February for a three-year posting to Ottawa, Urbach was a young Bundeswehr company commander in the 1980s during training exercises at Canadian Armed Forces Base Shilo, Manitoba. Prior to his posting to Canada, he headed the German Military Staff Representation to NATO and the EU in Brussels and he also has been involved in NATO-led missions in Afghanistan.

Feb 19

Growing reliance on the public cloud as a core element of public- and private-sector transition to an increasingly digital world worries Eric Trexler, vice-president of global governments and critical infrastructure at Texas-based Forcepoint, a company partly owned by Raytheon which develops and markets cybersecurity software. While the trend is expected to give agencies more data storage flexibility, he says it also amounts to an “attractive bullseye” for cyberattackers.

Feb 19

John Rood, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon, is understood on the way out, ostensibly for having lost support among other national security leaders. His department has declined comment.

Feb 19

A Canadian Armed Forces inability to deploy enough women to meet UN requirements in late 2018 for a peacekeeping mission in Sudan nearly scuttled Canada’s involvement. The UN reportedly was persuaded by assurances that the CAF was putting a better personnel rotation program in place.

Feb 18

Ukrainian troops on the Crimean eastern front are reported to have come under heavy bombardment by Russian-backed rebels who claim that Ukrainian forces tried to break through their lines. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky says the “provocation” would not derail his government’s push for peace under a currently fragile ceasefire agreement.

Feb 18

A legal text is still be developed but European Union states have agreed on more stringent coastal patrols off Libya to enforce a fragile UN arms embargo. The UN-recognised government in Tripoli is under attack by forces which control most of eastern and southern Libya.

Feb 18

BAE Systems completed its maiden flight of a high-altitude solar-powered aircraft with a 35-metre wingspan. The unmanned platform is designed to fly at an altitude of about 51,000m with a time aloft of more than a year at lower cost than satellites. The project is being underwritten by Britain and Australia., where the first flight took place at the Woomera Test Range.

Feb 18

A century-old military helmet designed in France is considered by biomedical researchers at Duke University in to offer better protection against overhead blasts than many modern brain buckets. They suggest that newer designs could be tweaked with, among other things, a crest such as on the 1915 French Adrian helmet, which they feel would reduce the incidence of mild trauma by deflecting shockwaves.

Feb 18

The U.S. Air Force said a year ago that it hoped to add 1,480 pilots to its roster in the 2020 fiscal year but faces the prospect of a significant shortfall, only about 1,300, which would be only slightly more than in fiscal 2019. The explanation is that there simply aren’t enough available training aircraft and civilian simulator instructors.

 

Feb 18

The International Institute for Strategic Studies says European countries are spending more on defence because of doubts about U.S. commitment to its transatlantic allies. The London-based institute reports that EU members spent the equivalent of some $380 billion last year, up 4.2 per cent from 2018. Within that, the percentage of new investments grew to 23.1 from 19.8.

Feb 18

Germany is moving to protect cyber technologies as national assets, enabling it to side-step European Union regulations which othersie require procurements to be open to bids from prospective suppliers in all member states. Artificial intelligence, electronic warfare, networked operations, cryptology and defence-related information and communications technologies are deemed crucial to national security and hence are exempt.

Feb 18

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel has successfully demonstrated its Drone Dome system for identifying and intercepting unmanned aerial systems. Employing lasers and electronic jammers and sensors, it was operated against several types of UAS, including commercially-available models.

Feb 18

Technology developed for U.S. Special Forces could be a game-changer when trying to deal with hidden enemy combatants, especially in increasingly built-up theatres of operation. It uses a laser to detect heartbeats at ranges up to 200 metres but is currently limited in application because it needs 30 seconds to conduct a scan and gather distinctive vibrations.

Feb 17

Continuing a long-running fight with the European Union over subsidies to their aircraft manufacturing sectors, the U.S. plans to hike its tariff on Airbus and aircraft parts to 15 per cent next month. The action targets EU members where Airbus parts are made: Britain, France, Germany and Spain. The EU has long insisted that the U.S. subsidizes Boeing, Airbus’ main competitor in the global commercial aircraft market.

Feb 17

Israel’s military has disclosed that it has foiled a move by Palestinian Hamas militants to hack into Israeli troops’ smartphones. It uncovered the plot several months ago but let it continue under surveillance until they shut it down.  Dozens of troops were targeted by Hamas agents posing as young women, enabling them to download malware.

Feb 17

The presence of white supremacists within the Canadian Armed Forces presents the leadership with an array of challenges, notably what constitutes “hateful conduct.” Senior staff say they have identified areas for improvement and hope to announce countermeasures in the coming months.

Feb 17

Seven variants of a malware program associated with North Korea prompted the U.S. intelligence community to issue a warning 17 February to the public and private sectors. The “Hidden Cobra” program evidently includes a remote-access trojan which would enable hackers to upload and download files as well as monitor victims’ microphones, clipboards and screens.

Feb 17

Cost escalation is expected to be on the agenda when Prime Minister Boris Johnston’s new government reviews defence and other procurement processes. More than 90 per cent of programs have been on time and within budget, particularly those executed by small and medium-sized suppliers, suggesting that the focus is on larger and more costly programs.

Feb 17

More than $1 billion for 75 light attack aircraft is included in the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command budget and the preference is for rapid acquisition of an off-the-shelf platform. “Whatever it turns out being is going to be non-developmental,” says SOC Commander LGen James Slife. The leading contenders, both single-engine turboprops, are the Embraer-Sierra Nevada A-29 Super Tucano and the Textron AT-6B Wolverine.

Feb 17

President Donald Trump has suggested that the Department of Defense should consider disciplining a former White House national security aide, Army LCol Alex Vindman, who testified in his recent impeachment trial.

Feb 17

NATO defence ministers have agreed to expand the Canadian-led military training mission in Iraq. In announcing the plan during a two-day meeting in Brussels, Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg says details needed to be worked out and approved by the Iraqi government.

Feb 17

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to end a decades-old military agreement with the U.S. apparently doesn’t faze President Donald Trump even though the plan dismays Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other senior officials. “I don't really mind if they would like to do that,” Trump says. “It will save a lot of money.”

ISSUES & IDEAS

Louis Cuppens's picture

The Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CVSM), which recognized the selfless and patriotic act of volunteering for service, must be re-introduced and issued to all veterans; however, the Government of Canada continues to ignore the value of volunteering to serve.

Ken Pole's picture

Prime Minister Trudeau convenes the government's Incident Response Group, which is tasked with reviewing national crises or foreign developments of direct relevance to Canada.

Ken Pole's picture

Operating unmanned aerial vehicles beyond line of sight improves their effectiveness and potential but this also requires real-time situational awareness for more effective deployment and safety reasons. Calgary-based Canadian UAVs and Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop “a complete airspace” solution. 

FEATURED ARTICLES

2019
Issue 3