IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

May 19, 2022

The Royal Canadian Navy announced the selection of Ms. Shannon Bernays as the Ship’s Sponsor for the third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS Max Bernays, which was named after her grandfather. Chief Petty Officer Max Bernays was a Canadian naval hero who served as the Coxswain of HMCS Assiniboine during the Second World War’s Battle of the Atlantic.

May 15, 2022

Historically neutral Finland and Sweden confirmed today that they will apply for NATO membership, a political shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland, which shares a 1,300km border with Russia, announced its decision first and was followed within hours by Sweden. Russia has threatened unspecific “consequences.”

May 13, 2022

A legal battle over upgrades to a pair of New Zealand frigates in Canada evidently isn’t about to be resolved any time soon while the Attorney General documents to address potential national security concerns. New Zealand contracted for the work in 2014 with Lockheed Martin Canada, which subcontracted elements to Seaspan Shipyards in Victoria. Reciprocal lawsuits effectively delayed the project to the point where one ship was delivered nine months late in December 2020 while the other remains at Seaspan’s yard.

May 13, 2022

North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles May 12 in the latest of a series of demonstrations. They fell into the sea outside Japan’s economic management zone.

May 13, 2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today his country is “not of a favourable option” about the prospect of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, but he stopped short of saying that he would exercise Turkey’s veto. He cited, among other things, alleged Scandinavian support for Kurdish militants and other groups Turkey sees as terrorists.

May 13, 2022

Russian forces have added cluster munitions to their indiscriminate invasion of Ukraine to horrendous effect against the civilian population. The weapons ostensibly are prohibited by a 2010 international treaty but Russia and Ukraine are among a few countries which have not ratified the accord.

May 13, 2022

A Canadian Armed Forces general officer and six staff officers are being assigned to NATO’s Multinational Division North Headquarters in Latvia, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau announced May 12 after a meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Krišjānis Kariņš. “They’ll be part of a first-of-its-kind unit in the northern Baltic Sea region to help plan, coordinate and integrate regional military activities that will serve as a continued and important part of our enhancements to NATO’s defence and deterrence capabilities,” Trudeau said. Canada has already deployed nearly 700 soldiers there as part of Operation Reassurance’s Forward Presence Battle Group.

May 13, 2022

With Finland’s parliament expected to formally approve a request for NATO membership, a decision expected to be matched by Sweden this weekend, Russia’s foreign ministry said today there is a threat to security and stability in northern Europe. “Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature,” it added without being specific.

May 13, 2022

The European Union is giving Ukraine another €500 million to buy heavy weapons to fend off the Russian invasion, the bloc's foreign policy head said today against the backdrop of a G-7 meeting in Germany. Also, Canada and the other bloc members are planning to examine how to gain access to millions of tonnes of globally-critical grain in the besieged country.

May 12, 2022

Marine Corps snipers are getting set to adopt a new bolt-action rifle which gives them the choice of three calibres while reducing the need for two weapons. USMC Command said today that the Barrett Mk22 Mod 0 has nearly completed testing before being issued next year. The Army previously announced that it had opted for the Mk22.

May 12, 2022

With near-peer warfare back on the agenda, U.S. special operators are focusing on environments where they are highly likely to find themselves engaged, notably in the Arctic. Members from across the community recently spent nearly a month training in Alaska alongside conventional forces and local, state, and federal law-enforcement personnel.

May 12, 2022

A 21-year-old Russian conscript will be the focus of Ukraine’s first war crimes trial arising from a shooting four days after Russia’s invasion began Feb. 24. Kyiv’s top prosecutor said Vadim Shyshimarin is accused of killing an unarmed elderly civilian on a bicycle to prevent him from reporting the troops’ presence.

May 12, 2022

A report released by two think-tanks May 11 states that senior government officials feel they are ill-equipped to gather evidence for policy advice and that they seem afraid to tell politicians the hard truths when evidence is found. The conclusions are based on mid-pandemic interviews with 42 senior bureaucrats and 2,355 public servants in various departments and agencies.

May 12, 2022

A five-member Mississippi-based USAF crew has been disciplined for “abuse of government assets” after diverting their Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport to pick up a member’s personal motorcycle in March. The crew were grounded in California after the incident came to light, necessitating deployment of a second crew to collect the aircraft and its original crew.

May 12, 2022

The president and prime minister of historically non-aligned Finland today announced their support for the nation to apply for NATO membership, setting the stage for a parliamentary vote within a few days. There has been a dramatic shift in public support for the decision due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and similarly neutral Sweden is expected to follow suit.

May 11, 2022

Seventeen years after a previous Liberal government rejected participation in the U.S. ballistic missile defence system, Defense Minister Anita Anand says Canada is re-examining the possibility. “We are certainly taking a full and comprehensive look at that question as well as what it takes to defend the continent across the board,” she said May 10. “We are leaving no stone unturned in this major review.”

May 11, 2022

A Republican Senator from Alaska expressed exasperation about Canada’s defence spending May 10 when a congressional committee was considering more funding for Ukraine. Having asked witnesses whether they have seen allies stepping up, Dan Sullivan said “we still have NATO allies, Canada one, who just freeload. And it's getting a little tiring.”

May 10, 2022

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine says thousands more civilians have been died than the official toll of 3,351 killed during nearly 11 weeks of war against Russian. The head of the mission, Matilda Bogner, who has 56 monitors on the ground, said today that most deaths are the result of weapons with a wide impact area.

May 10, 2022

Cadets graduating May 19 from Royal Military College plan to use the spring convocation ceremony to honour the memory of four classmates who died April 29 when their vehicle plunged into the St. Lawrence River from a promontory on the sprawling campus.

May 10, 2022

With Russia’s invasion well into its third month, the U.S. is trying to figure out how best to supply weapons and train Ukrainian troops. Hundreds have either completed or are undergoing training on an array of weapons and a Pentagon official says the challenge is not to “overload their system” by delivering more than the Ukrainians can handle.

May 09, 2022

As the U.S. sends Javelin anti-tank missiles from its military stockpiles to support Ukraine’s fight against Russian invaders, Lockheed Martin aims to nearly double production at the Alabama plant it operates with Raytheon Technologies. Current annual output of the weapons, each of which contains 250 microprocessors, is 2,100 but LM CEO Jim Taiclet said May 8 the goal is 4,000, which will require its supply chain to “crank up.”

May 09, 2022

In a “Victory Day” speech in Moscow today, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his military no clues as to how much longer his invasion of Ukraine, which began Feb. 24, would last. He reiterated his unsubstantiated claim that the “special military operation” was an unavoidable preemptive move against plans for a NATO-backed Ukrainian invasion of lands he said were historically Russian.

May 08, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met today in Ukraine with his embattled counterpart, Volodomyr Zelenskyy, even as Russia was stepping up its invasion in some regions. Among other things, Trudeau promised more military assistance and announced more economic sanctions as well as financial support for the World Food Program, saying that “we will continue to do whatever is necessary to stand with Ukraine.”

May 08, 2022

U.S. First Lady Jill Biden met her Ukrainian counterpart, Olena Zelenska, met in Ukraine on Mother’s Day, Zelenska's first public appearance since Russian began invading her country Feb. 24. Biden’s visit coincided with a U.S. announcement of more sanctions against not only Russia but also neighbouring Belarus, where its autocratic leader has been openly supportive of Vladimir Putin.

May 08, 2022

Is Canada's space industry optimally positioned to maximize opportunities and ensure a competitive edge in the face of expanding markets? AIAC's Space Future event will tackle this and other questions relevant to the very real future of space.

May 08, 2022

As a general election looms May 21 in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today that his government would work with its allies to ensure that China does not set up a rumoured military base in the Solomon Islands. China’s growing Pacific presences has been a hot issue in the election campaign and Morrison has warned that a base in the Solomons would be crossing a “red line.”

May 07, 2022

Former Chief of the Defence Staff Jonathan Vance, who pled guilty in March to obstruction of justice in connection with a sexual misconduct investigation, has voluntarily returned his Order of Military Merit.

May 06, 2022

The Department of National Defence said May 5 that two men wanted in Thailand for the murder in February of a man linked to gangs in B.C. had both served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Police say Gene Lahrkamp and Matthew Dupre fled to Canada, where Dupre, who had served in Afghanistan, was arrested. Meanwhile, Lahrkamp has been identified as one four persons killed in the recent crash of a small aircraft in northwestern Ontario.

May 06, 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's recent comments about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's Jewish identity and “Nazis” in his government resulted in a flood of international dismay and outrage. Even so, one analysis feels that an examination of Lavrov’s “reckless” rationale is worthwhile.

May 06, 2022

Boeing confirmed May 5 that it relocating its global headquarters to the Washington “suburb” of Arlington, Va., from Chicago, but will maintain a significant presence in Illinois. The corporation’s three business units will remain in current locations.

May 06, 2022

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said May 5 that he did not expect Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to “drag on this way” and that he was doing “everything” he could to stop the war. A staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the autocratic Belarusian leader accused Ukraine and the U.S. of fueling the conflict.

May 06, 2022

The U.S. Administration said May 5 that it is confident it can address any security concerns Sweden and Finland may have if they apply for NATO membership and before they are accepted by the current 30 members. Both countries have expressed concern about vulnerability to Russian aggression during the application process, which could begin this month and take up to a year.

May 06, 2022

Having reversed a long-standing policy of not sending heavy weapons to war zones, Germany will deliver seven self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said today that the combat-proven 155mm Panzerhaubitze 2000, capable of hitting targets at 40km, will be drawn from Bundeswehr inventory.

May 05, 2022

Maritime search and rescue is a critical component of the CAF mandate to protect the safety and security of Canadians. Operationalization of the new fleet of 16 new CC-295 Kingfisher fixed-wing search and rescue sensor-equipped aircraft has been delayed to the 2025-2026 timeframe.

May 05, 2022

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he accepted an apology from Russian President Vladimir Putin today for remarks about the Holocaust made by Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Kremlin’s statement about the phone call did not mention the apology but did say both leaders had emphasized the importance of marking the Nazi defeat in the Second World War.

May 05, 2022

Senior U.S. officials say U.S. real-time intelligence has been used by Ukraine to target many of the dozen Russian generals who have been killed during their invasion of Ukraine. The information also includes anticipated Russian troop movements and Ukrainian strategists combine that with their own intelligence to conduct counterattacks

May 05, 2022

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Canada should support a U.S. Republican congressman’s resolution which would authorize military force to defend Ukraine if Russian forces turn to weapons of mass destruction. Congressman Kinzinger of Illinois says his proposal is more about warning the Kremlin than about going to war and Petroshenko agrees that it would be timely as Russian forces make what seem to be limited gains in the conventional battlespace.

May 05, 2022

Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff said May 4 that Russia's globally-destabilizing invasion of Ukraine requires a rapid response from military supply chains. “We need the defence industry to go onto a wartime footing and increase their production lines to be able to support the requirements that are out there,” Gen Wayne Eyre said. While Canada is able to meet NATO commitments, the “huge demand” for materiel requires the Canadian Armed Forces to be fully prepared still supplying weapons to Ukraine.

May 05, 2022

A record 40-year high inflation level is starting to affect U.S. Department of Defense contract talks with suppliers. “Negotiations are directly impacted,” DoD Comptroller Mike McCord said in a May 2 letter to Republican members of Congress who have criticized what they say is a lack of foresight. “The department is working with all of the buying commands to ensure that there is a common understanding of when . . . clauses are appropriate to protect both industry and the government.”

May 05, 2022

Hours after he filed a first-hand account of the first weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a Kiyv-based contributor to a U.S. blog went silent March 4. Held at gunpoint and fearful of imminent execution, Reuben Johnson eventually remerged in Poland to tell his tale.

May 04, 2022

Against the tense European backdrop of Russia’s war on Ukraine, U.S. forces have begun a massive airborne operations exercise stretching from the Arctic to the Balkans and Special Forces have launched simultaneous large-scale drills. The Swift Response exercise, running to May 20, involves more than 20,000 additional U.S. troops in Europe alongside 9,000 from allies.

May 04, 2022

As it continues its brutal invasion of Ukraine, the fact that Russia has sustained significant losses as its poor logistics undermine long-range support to its ground forces. “Within days of their February invasion, Russian forces found themselves stranded and out of fuel (not to mention food and water),” one analyst says. “Their forces sat in massive, stagnant convoys . . . helpless to repel drone strikes, guerilla attacks and crumbling morale.”

May 04, 2022

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament today that the 27-nation bloc should ban oil imports from Russia and target its largest bank and major broadcasters in a new sanctions package. “We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimizes the impact on global markets,” she said, conceding that getting unanimity would “not be easy.”

May 04, 2022

A U.S. Defense Department pilot program designed to root out digital vulnerabilities among contractors has identified hundreds of flaws in one year. The companies examined evidently represent a small fraction of the department’s contractor pool but there are concerns the problem is more widespread.

May 04, 2022

Six days before its southern neighbour is scheduled to elect a new president, North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters today in its 14th weapons test so far this year . The launch took place after leader Kim Jong Un vowed to speed up the development of nuclear weapons “at the fastest possible pace.”

May 02, 2022

A suggestion by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov May 1 that Adolf Hitler had “Jewish blood” has infuriated Israel. His comment was an attempt to justify Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a move to “de-Nazify” the country even though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish. “I could be wrong,” Lavrov said, “but Hitler also had Jewish blood” and Zelenskyy’s religion “means absolutely nothing” because “wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews.”

May 02, 2022

National Defence & Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman Gregory Lick says the military must do more to accommodate disabled children or other exceptional family circumstances. With some one in four personnel are relocated every year for training or operational needs and can apply for exemptions, Lick, a former naval reservist and Coast Guard Officer, says current policy is riddled with problems.

May 02, 2022

A woman who stood and shouted atop the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the “freedom convoy” in Ottawa earlier this year will not be charged. “She was spoken to, showed remorse for her actions and police are confident she will not re-offend,” the capital’s police service explained.

May 01, 2022

Defence Minister Anita Anand led a Canadian defence delegation to Washington Washington D.C. for meetings with U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III, diplomats, and members of Congress. Topics for discussion included the ongoing and emerging threats to continental and international security in the context of global Allied cooperation.

Apr 29, 2022

The Canadian Armed Forces says that so far only 158 of the more than 1,300 service members who applied for an exemption from the Chief of the Defence Staff’s mandatory coronavirus vaccination directive have been approved. A further 160 remain under review.

Apr 29, 2022

The first T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainer for the U.S. Air Force was rolled out April 28 at the Boeing plant in St. Louis. LGen. Marshall B. “Brad” Webb, head of Air Education and Training Command, said AETC is “re-envisioning” training “with the T-7 in mind.” Built in collaboration with Saab, the single-engine aircraft replaces the twin-engine Northrop T-38 Talon which first flew in 1959.

Apr 29, 2022

The Department of National Defence has confirmed a fatal water incident occurred near RMC’s Fort Frederick Museum, and that four RMC cadets have died as a result.

Apr 29, 2022

U.S. plans for the next generation of fighter aircraft are expected to see costs skyrocket and while Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall was unable to be specific at an April 27 congressional committee, the USAF is talking about “multiple” hundreds of millions. “This is a number that’s going to get your attention.” Kendall said. That would be more than double the cost of the Lockheed Martin F-35 already in service with a number of airforces and being considered by Canada

Apr 28, 2022

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has complained to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about Turkish fighters in its airspace over the Aegean Sea. “This type of behaviour by a NATO ally … is unacceptable,” he said April 28. “It undermines European security as well as the unity … of NATO at a time when amongst NATO members it is indispensable for all of us to remain united as we face the continued aggression of Russia in Ukraine.” Turkey countered with accusations that Greek has repeatedly violated its Mediterranean coastal airspace.

Apr 28, 2022

Ukrainian troops have received more than half the 90 BAE M777 155mm howitzers promised by the U.S. for use against invading Russian forces. A Pentagon official said April 27 they have slightly larger calibre than Ukraine’s Soviet-era weapons and required some M777-specific training.

Apr 28, 2022

An unmanned eight-tonne submarine developed by a Boeing-led team could be used by the U.S. Navy for covert mine-laying missions. The USN has awarded $72.5 million contract for a prototype of the Orca, based on a smaller Echo Voyager design already in production under a contract signed in February 2019.

Apr 28, 2022

Russia has threated unspecified “retaliatory measures” against Japan if it expands joint naval exercises with the U.S. near Russia's eastern borders. It’s the latest chapter in a long-running dispute over the sovereignty of islands captured by Soviet forces at the end of World War II. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said April 26 that recent exercises were “a threat to the security of our country.”

Apr 28, 2022

Hundreds of Russian tanks are believed to have been destroyed or heavily damaged during the Kremlin-ordered invasion of Ukraine, a loss rate attributed to an outdated design flaw. Dubbed the “jack-in-the-box effect”, it arises from how ammunition is stored in their turrets rather than in discrete containment. That means that a single hit can set off a catastrophic internal chain reaction and blow the turret off.

Apr 28, 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been formally labelled an act of genocide by the House of Commons, which unanimously approved a motion to that effect April 27 by Alberta MP Heather McPherson. “Sanctions have been implemented too slowly,” she said, urging the government to direct more funds to the International Criminal Court to ensure it has the resources to investigate atrocities in Ukraine.

Apr 27, 2022

Some $600 million in cost overruns on Boeing’s development of the next-generation presidential aircraft, coupled with $337 million in overruns on the USAF T-7A Red Hawk trainer, have resulted in a “messier” financial quarter for the aerospace giant. CEO Dave Calhoun suggested today that the company should not have accepted the Trump administration’s terms in 2018 on the new Air Force One, now two years behind its original 2024 delivery date.

Apr 27, 2022

The keynote speakers have for both days of 2022 CANSEC have now been confirmed and announced by CADSi, the show organizer. This year's lineup includes Canada's Defence and Procurement Ministers, the UK Minister for Defence Procurement, and Canada's Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.

Apr 27, 2022

At an April 26 meeting in Moscow, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to arranging evacuations of civilians trapped in the southern Ukraine city of Mariupol. They also agreed in principle that the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross should be involved. Guterres used the one-on-one meeting to criticize Russia’s invasion of its neighbour but Putin claimed that Ukrainian forces were using civilians as shields.

Apr 27, 2022

The German government will send Ukraine some 50 anti-aircraft platforms for defence against Russian drones. Comprised of a twin-cannon flak unit mounted on a Leopard tank chassis, the Gepard is no longer in the Bundeswehr’s inventory but the manufacturer has kept some in its own stocks.

Apr 27, 2022

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly served notice April 26 that the government would amend change its sanctions law to permit the sale of seized and sanctioned foreign assets, using the revenues to compensate victims or to help rebuild a foreign state. “These changes would make Canada's sanctions regime the first in the G7 to allow these actions,” she said, zeroing in on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Putin regime and impose severe costs for this war of choice.”

Apr 27, 2022

A court in military-ruled Myanmar today found former leader Aung San Suu Kyi guilty of corruption, the latest verdict in a series of secret trials condemned by human right groups as shams. The previously-imprisoned 76-year-old Nobel laureate has been under house arrest since her elected government was overthrown in a February 2021 coup.

Apr 27, 2022

With a convoy of 500-1,000 motorcyclists expected to arrive in Ottawa this weekend for rallies near Parliament Hill and the Canadian War Museum, police say they are prepared to enforce the full letter of the law to ensure the situation remains peaceful. The “rolling thunder” organization includes a military veterans’ club which says its aim is to “restore fundamental freedoms for all” while upholding the law.

Apr 27, 2022

Fifteen U.S. allies which have donated weaponry to Ukraine are to get $391 million in new grants to buy U.S. military hardware to backfill their inventories. The Department of Defense also has confirmed $322 million in additional funding to support Ukraine’s “transition to more advanced weapons and air defense systems.”

Apr 25, 2022

The final report by a ministerial advisory says the Canadian Armed Forces don’t do enough to detect and prevent extremists from infiltrating its ranks and promoting racism and other forms of discrimination. Released today by Defence Minister Anita Anand after a 15-month review by retired CAF members, the report calls for more law enforcement and intelligence agency involvement as well as better training.

Apr 25, 2022

A new North American radar defence network evidently will be built in Southern Canada at a cost of at least $1 billion with a view to being operational by 2028. The defence industry was briefed on the project earlier this month by the RCAF, which said the installations would “provide long-range surveillance of northern approaches to the major population centers in North America by establishing a northward-aimed high frequency over-the-horizon radar system in southern Canada.”

Apr 25, 2022

The federal government is being sued by a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was held without trial. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian who lived briefly in Montreal and now resides in The Netherlands, is seeking $35 million in damages on grounds that faulty Canadian intelligence contributed to his detention.

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