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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 10

The U.S. Department of Defense Department requested a 30-day court extension to resolve ongoing issues with its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract. The multibillion-dollar contract had been expected to be awarded 17 August after numerous delays, notably the need to address a legal protest by Amazon Web Services after the contract was initially awarded to Microsoft last fall. Already two years behind schedule, there evidently are still “areas of concern with respect to the revised proposals,” the DoD said 10 August. 

Aug 10

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has suggested that her country could shoulder 10% of NATO’s requirements by taking into account what a spokesperson says would be “cash, capabilities and commitments” rather than the 2% of gross domestic product urged by the U.S. The push for a change evidently is tied to the economic impact of COVID-19 and the implications for future defence spending. Germany’s nearly $50-billion military budget last year represented nearly 1.3% of GDP.

Aug 10

Transport Canada has certified EHang Holdings Ltd., of Guangzhou, China, to conduct flight tests of its EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicle in Quebec, following special operating certificates issued by several other countries. “It conveys a positive signal from global regulators to establish a supportive and sustainable regulatory environment,” the company said in a statement.

Aug 10

The Royal Canadian navy’s sixth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship will be named for Robert Hampton Gray, a member of the WWII Royal Canadian Naval Reserve who flew with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. Lt Gray was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross, the only one awarded to an RCN member during the war for his role in leading an attack on Japanese ships in August 1945.

Aug 10

A team of Canadian Army veterans has completed a 36-hour walk from Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, 175 kilometres or more than 220,000 steps up the Ottawa River Valley from the nation’s capital. The event, which featured hourly exercises wearing weighted vests, raised money for Wounded Warriors Canada.

Aug 10

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux plans to compare the $60-billion cost of replacing the Royal Canadian Navy’s Iroquois-class destroyers and Halifax-class frigates. Requested by the House of Commons standing committee on government operations and estimates, the review of the Canadian Surface Combatant program will look at two large frigates: the FREMM built for the French and Italian navies and the Type 31 ordered for the Royal Navy.

Aug 10

Draft legislation designed to limit exports of large armed unmanned aerial vehicles has been introduced by a bipartisan group in the U.S. Senate. They are responding to a White House measure which would permit U.S. companies to circumvent part of a 1987 agreement controlling such sales. “If we allow Trump to start selling drones, we set a dangerous precedent,” says one of the Democrats behind the move.

Aug 10

A recent two-day U.S. Air Force exercise was designed refine how stealthy aircraft can work with legacy crewed platforms and drones in a highly contested airspace. The test at Nellis AFB in Nevada involved Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor fighters and RQ-170 Sentinel drones as well as Northrop Grumman B-2 bombers and U.S. Navy Boeing E/A-18G Super Hornet Growler electronic warfare aircraft.

Aug 10

Any ballistic missile fired at Russia would be automatically considered a nuclear attack warranting nuclear retaliation, according to an official military publication, Krasnaya Zvezda. An article by several members of the General Staff follows the Kremlin’s release of a deterrence policy that envisages just such a scenario.

Aug 10

A Venezuelan court has sentenced two former U.S. soldiers to 20 years in prison for their participation in a failed bid to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro. Found guilty of conspiracy, illicit trafficking of weapons and terrorism, they were among 13 people arrested in May when they attempted to enter Venezuela by sea from Colombia. Proceedings against others are continuing.

Aug 07

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to reimpose a 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum is nothing more than back-stabbing. “I just have to say how disappointed I am with President Trump,” Ford said 7 August. “In times like this, who tries to go after your closest ally, your closest trading partner, your number one customer in the entire world? Who would do this? Well, President Trump did this.”

Aug 07

NATO is studying the feasibility of replacing its fleet of Boeing E3-A Sentry airborne early-warning aircraft. Canada and 17 other members of the alliance currently operate modified 707s which entered service in 1978, from a base in Geilenkirchen, Germany. Menwhile, NATO plans to spend $1 billion on a final life extension for the legacy fleet.

Aug 07

British Columbia-based OSI Maritime Systems contracted to supply a new Tactical Dived Navigation System for Canada’s four submarines. Other OSI systems are already aboard the boats as well as those operated by eight other countries.

Aug 07

Just five weeks after the new North American free trade agreement went into effect, U.S. President Donald Trump’s announced 6 August that he would impose a 10 per cent import tariff on Canadian aluminum. As with a previous aluminum tariff, Trump cited national security concerns. In Ottawa, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland promised “dollar-for-dollar countermeasures.” 

Aug 06

The federal government is partnering with two major international companies to secure millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses for national distribution. Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand says the deal with Pfizer and Moderna will help to position Canada at the front of the line when a vaccine becomes available. Fifty-five potential COVID-19 drugs, including vaccine candidates, are currently being investigated in clinical trials authorized by Health Canada.

Aug 06

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has outlined a reorientation of his department with the overarching goal of countering China’s growing influence. He recalled becoming aware of China’s evolution while he was a Pacific Command war planner in the mid-1990s. “China’s been on this path for some time,” he said 5 August. “It’s time that we woke up and addressed it, that we competed much more vigorously.”

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.

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