IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

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.

Apr 25, 2022

Oleg Stepanov, Russia’s Ambassador to Canada, supports his country’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. “I stand with my president and I stand with the troops on the ground,” he said on the weekend, denying accusations that they are committing war crimes and targetting civilians. “Here at the embassy, we are 100 per cent confident that we stand on the right side of history.”

Apr 25, 2022

The Communications Security Establishment says finding recruitment a challenge even though the government has pledged nearly $1 billion to bolster cybersecurity. The CSE receives 10,000-15,000 job applications annually but only one or two applicants are hired. “Recruitment for high-tech organizations remains challenging and highly competitive,” spokesman Evan Koronewski says. “At CSE, the same is true due to the specific technical competencies we require for many of our positions, the necessary security clearances, and the current requirement for successful candidates to relocate to the National Capital Region.”

Apr 25, 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron has secured a second five-year term in office, capturing 58.55 per cent of the April 24 run-off vote despite an improved showing by right-wing challenger Marine Le Pen, who finished with 41.45 per cent. One issue facing voters was the prospect that a Le Pen vote could mean France’s withdrawal from NATO.

Apr 25, 2022

At least 168 people have been killed and 98 injured in tribal clashes in the western Darfur town of Kreinik. The violence reported April 24 is the latest uptick in the region which has been in a state of civil war since early in the last decade when the government suppressed rebel groups with the help of Arab militants. President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.

Apr 25, 2022

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported today that worldwide military spending last year was a record US$2.1 trillion, the seventh consecutive annual increase. The U.S., China, India, the U.K. and Russia topped the ranks in that order, accounting for 62 per cent of the global expenditure. Canada is ranked 13th at $26.4 billion, up 3.1 per cent from 2020.

Apr 24, 2022

The federal government has shipped four of its 37 BAE Systems M777 howitzers, as well as ammunition, to Ukraine for use against Russian forces. With a stated range of 40km but accurate up to 30km, the 155mm guns were taken from the Canadian Army’s stock and are to be replaced. The government also promised more rounds for its Swedish-manufactured Carl Gustaf anti-tank recoilless rifles already in Ukraine and said it is finalizing contracts for armoured vehicles.

Apr 24, 2022

David Cohen, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, says he has been assured Canada will follow through this year on crucial investments to modernize Arctic defences, even though this month's budget included no specific funding. He says he has pressed the issue in “candid conversations” with senior cabinet ministers and although this “this budget does not include funding for NORAD, for modernizing and improving the northern defence for Canada and for the United States . . . it will be forthcoming during the course of this fiscal year.”

Apr 24, 2022

At least one crewmember died and 27 are missing after the Moskva, flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet, sank earlier while under tow earlier this month. Another 396 crewmembers were evacuated to nearby ships. The Kremlin, which hitherto had not acknowledged any casualties, has insisted the missile cruiser was disabled by a fire of undetermined origin but Ukraine says it struck the ship with two cruise missiles.

Apr 24, 2022

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which accounts for more than a third of Iran’s defence budget, says it will keep trying to avenge the U.S. killing of its top officer in Iraq in January 2020. The IRGC threat complicates multilateral negotiations to revive a 2015 nuclear agreement the U.S. abandoned in 2018.

Apr 22, 2022

The federal government confirmed today that an unspecified number of BAE Systems M777 howitzers, as well as ammunition, have been delivered to Ukraine for use against Russian forces. Accurate up to 30km, the 155mm guns were taken from the Canadian Army’s stock and are to be replaced. The government also promised more rounds for its Swedish-manufactured Carl Gustaf anti-tank recoilless rifles already in Ukraine and said it is finalizing contracts for armoured vehicles.

Apr 22, 2022

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said today that NATO should increase its deployment of troops in his country and elsewhere on Europe's eastern flank following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He said during a visit by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock that the alliance’s Enhanced Forward Presence Battalion should be increased to “at least” brigade size and that air defences should be improved.

Apr 22, 2022

The Department of National Defence announced new Army, Navy and Air Force commanders April 21. The leadership shakeup includes the Army’s first indigenous leader, LGen Jocelyn Paul, previously deputy commander of NATO's Allied Joint Force Command in Italy.

Apr 22, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory/April 21 in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, even as he ordered his troops not to risk more losses by storming holdouts in a sprawling steel plant. Instead, he ordered his forces to seal off the plant, where 2,000 Ukrainian troops and 1,000 civilians have been trapped, “so that not even a fly comes through.”

Apr 22, 2022

Satellite imagery released April 21 by Colorado-based Maxar Technologies show apparent mass graves near the beseiged southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, where local officials accuse Russia of burying up to 9,000 civilians of their invasion. Maxar said the imagery shows more than 200 mass graves stretching in rows away from an existing cemetery.

Apr 22, 2022

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern says her country has been aware for some time of China’s “growing assertiveness” in the South Pacific, most recently manifest in a “disappointing” security pact with the Solomon Islands. However, she says, her country has a “a mature relationship” with China and there is an ongoing need to cooperate on areas of “natural mutual interest.”

Apr 22, 2022

About 50 Ukrainian artillerymen have been getting a crash course on U.S. 155mm howitzers. A first batch of 18 weapons and 40,000 rounds of ammunition was announced earlier this month, followed by 72 more howitzers and 144,000 rounds. “What we’re providing is done in full consultation with the Ukrainians,” a Pentagon spokesman said April 21.

Apr 20, 2022

More than 120 hitherto classified tactical drones designed by the U.S. Air Force are included in the latest U.S. arms package for Ukraine. Similar in concept to the proven Switchblade “suicide” weapon, the Phoenix Ghost was developed to meet requirements which “very closely” match what Ukraine needs against Russian invaders in the Donbas region.

Apr 21, 2022

In their first bilateral meeting, Canada's Defence Minister Anita Anand spoke on the phone with Norway's Defence Minister, Bjørn Arild Gram. They discussed the importance of defence relationships and other topics of mutual interest.

Apr 20, 2022

A successful test today of Russia’s Sarmat ICBM, launched from the country’ northwest and hitting targets on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east drew praise and a threat from President Vladimir Putin. “This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure the security of Russia from external threats,” he said in a televised address, adding that it would “make those who, in the heat of aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country think twice.”

Apr 20, 2022

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland joined representatives from several other countries in a walkout from today’s G20 economic summit, say that Russia should not be participating in the event. “This week's meetings in Washington are about supporting the world economy,” said Freeland, participating in her capacity as Finance Minister. “Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine is a grave threat to the global economy.”

Apr 20, 2022

As Russian forces mount a new offensive in Ukraine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said April 19 that Canada would have news “in the coming days” about supplying “heavy artillery” to Ukraine. he offered no details but the Canadian Army’s largest artillery piece is the British M777 155mm howitzer, which has a range up to 40 kilometres.

Apr 20, 2022

Even though a Florida judge ruled that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not justified mandatory coronavirus masking on all forms of mass transportation, Canada has no immediate plans to drop its requirement for air and train passengers. “Masks are proven to provide additional layers of protection and we will continue to follow the advice of our public health experts,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said April 19.

Apr 19, 2022

In a bid to distance itself from senior military leaders who give good character references to convicted criminals, the Canadian Armed Forces is prohibiting the use of CAF letterhead. The new policy evidently is in response to a judge’s decision not to “burden” former CDS Jonathan Vance with a criminal conviction for obstruction of justice after considering positive character references from retired and serving members.

Apr 19, 2022

China has begun deploying its most advanced fighter, the J-20 stealth platform, to patrols in the East and South China Seas. State-run media confirmed the development several weeks after U.S. Air Force F-35 pilots reported encounters in some disputed areas

Apr 19, 2022

Gen Wayne Ayre, the Chief of the Defence Staff, says “the No. 1 issue that comes up as I travel around the country is cost of living and the challenges our people are facing in terms of finding affordable accommodations,” he said. Acknowledging that “while many Canadians are facing the same challenges, the impacts are particularly acute on members of the Canadian military, who are frequently required to move to different bases and locations.”

Apr 19, 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron’s far-right challenger, Marine Le Pen, says she rejects NATO’s “herd-like conformity” with the U.S. and would quit the alliance’s integrated military command and focus on “a strategic rapprochement” with Russia. She also has dismissed multilateralism in general as she and Macron prepare for an April 24 run-off election after first-round voting April 10 left them with only a few percentage points difference in support.

Apr 19, 2022

Poland’s air force commander says Russian aircraft based in Belarus are increasingly harassing NATO aircraft near Polish air space. “Fighters are scrambled twice or three times . . . typically in 24 hours, so that’s a lot.” BGen Ireneusz Nowak said April 14. “The problem for us is that, with relatively small airports like we have, and we have a small fighter fleet, it’s exhausting for us, so we cannot rotate like you can.”

Apr 19, 2022

The Vancouver-based Veterans Transition Network, having raised $3.6 million and helped to rescue 2,061 Afghanis since the Taliban took control, is refocusing its efforts to help veterans deal with mental-health issues. Among other things, VRN Executive Director Oliver Thorne blames “government policy that is very risk averse to the point of being selfish.”

Apr 14, 2022

Ukraine said today that its forces used missiles to sink Russia’s Black Sea flagship cruiser but Moscow says the Moskva was damaged by an internal explosion and sank while being towed. Armed with 16 missiles and typically with a crew of 500, its loss, regardless of the cause, reduces the navy’s regional firepower significantly.

Apr 13, 2022

U.S. President Joe Biden used the word “genocide” April 12 to describe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “It has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of being able to be Ukrainian and the evidence is mounting,” he said. “We’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.”

Apr 13, 2022

Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. intelligence analyst, is prohibited from entering Canada due to her 2013 conviction for leaking classified information. Ruling on her case last week, an Immigration and Refugee Board agreed with the federal government that Manning, who U.S. sentence has been commuted, should be denied entry. Her lawyers say they will seek a judicial review of the ruling.

Apr 13, 2022

With ground forces pretty well everywhere experiencing increased needs to power a growing array of battery-powered gear, the U.S. Army is preparing its first operational energy strategy. Expected to be completed by year’s end, it is expected to focus on the Army’s readiness to work with a range of energy options that could include renewables, fossil fuels and host nations’ power grids.

Apr 12, 2022

Kathleen Hicks, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, expressed concern today about a “decline” in competition within the defence industries. “We’re down to about five prime contractors, a substantial decline over the years on the small business side,” she said, explaining that this complicates her department’s efforts to capture innovation and value for taxpayers. “Competition can get us better results.”

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