IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

May 15, 2015

Five months before election time, the federal government‘s carefully constructed Natianal Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy is threatening to come apart at the seams. Although senior members of cabinet are aware of a potential solution and of a mind to push it foward, over the objections of bureaucrats at the Department of National Defence who are, in their custom, raging the puck.

May 15, 2015

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility on Thursday for an attack on a popular guesthouse in Kabul that killed at least 14 people, including foreigners attending a dinner and arriving for a concert. Four Indian nationals, a Briton, an American, an Italian and a Kazakh national were confirmed among the dead in a five-hour assault at Park Palace guesthouse in an upscale neighbourhood of central Kabul. The Taliban are stepping up attacks following the withdrawal of most foreign troops. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an emailed statement that one of the insurgents' operatives carried out the attack with the aim of killing foreign citizens in retaliation for the United States and its allies supporting the Kabul government of President Ashraf Ghani.

May 14, 2015

Following a May 13th ceremony at Camp Canada in Kuwait, Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon assumed command of Joint Task Force-Iraq (JTF-I) from Brigadier-General Dan Constable. As Commander of JTF-I, BGen Bourgon will command approximately 600 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel deployed on Operation IMPACT – Canada’s military contribution to the multinational coalition against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). JTF-I includes Air Task Force-Iraq (ATF-I) as well as planning teams and liaison officers working alongside counterparts.

May 14, 2015

Prime Minister Harper was in Windsor Ontario to announce his mandate to increase manufacturing jobs in southern Ontario. Part of this plan includes extending support programs to save money for companies, and promises to help build the manufacturing sector.

May 14, 2015

Bombardier has announced layoffs of 17,500 jobs in Montreal, Toronto, and Belfast. The company says this is a calculated decision to adjust its production rate to market demand. It says these layoffs are in response to a soft China and Russia market.

May 14, 2015

Defence Minister Jason Kenney has promised the creation of an independant body to deal with sexual misconduct in the military after questions about senior brass’s commitment to dealing with the problem. On wednesday, CBC reported Lawson had issued a directive to senior commanders on webnesday.

May 13, 2015

General Tom Lawson clarifies DND’s response to the issue of inappropriate sexual behaviour in the Canadian Armed Forces, reiterating the seriousness with which the department views these matters.

May 13, 2015

An Airbus A400M had a test flight yesterday from Tolouse to Seville. This is the first flight since Saturday’s accident in which flight test staff perished. Flight Engineer, Fernando Alonso, the head of Military Aircraft for Airbus Defence and Space was on board for the flight. The company announced that everything performed normally and that all scheduled tests were completed.

May 13, 2015

A roadside bomb blast killed a Kurdish peshmerga major general and three of his bodyguards in Iraq’s Daquq region on Tuesday. The device exploded as Major General Salah Dilmani was touring the peshmerga front against the Islamic State group south of the city of Kirkuk.

May 11, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Russia to do more to ensure peace in eastern Ukraine as she visited the Kremlin on Sunday, saying there were frequent violations of a ceasefire by Moscow-backed separatists.

May 11, 2015

Shiite rebels and their allies in Yemen said Sunday they would accept a five-day humanitarian cease-fire to allow aid to reach civilians after more than a month of daily Saudi-led airstrikes. The cease-fire is expected to begin Tuesday and hopes to ease the suffering of civilians in the Arab world’s poorest country who increasingly lack food, fuel and medicine since the bombing campaign began March 26.

May 11, 2015

Retired Capt. Rolfe Monteith, the jaunty ninty-one-year-old former Royal Canadian Navy engineer, was one of only four veterans from Canada invited to participate in VE-Day celebrations in London commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the war against Nazi Germany.

May 09, 2015

North Korea has announced it carried out a successful underwater test of a ballistic missile.

May 09, 2015

The Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs will be meeting on 13 May 2015. Witnesses Michel Doiron, ADM Service Delivery and David Ross, A/Mgr National Clinic Coordinator at VAC, will be testifying on the medical, social, and operational impacts of mental health issues affecting serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces, including operational stress injuries (OSIs) such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Click here for the webcast:

May 08, 2015

The second group of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel on Operation SIRONA arrived in Ottawa today after deploying to West Africa in support of the Government of Canada’s response to fight the Ebola epidemic. The third group of CAF members arrived in Sierra Leone on April 20, 2015.

May 09, 2015

Breaking News: Some 40 inmates, 9 of whom were facing terror-related charges, have escaped a prison in Iraq, possibly with help from ISIS. Official announcements do not correspond with news reports.

May 09, 2015

Airbus Defence and Space has confirmed that an A400M military transport aircraft, earmarked for the Turkish Air Force, has crashed shortly after take-off near Seville's San Pablo airport in Spain. Local reports say the plane hit an electric power line as the pilots tried to make an emergency landing of the test flight. Numbers of people on board have been reported as “up to 10”. Airbus has confirmed that four crew members died in the crash.

May 09, 2015

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has graciously agreed to serve as the Colonel-in-Chief of the 2nd Battalion, The Irish Regiment of Canada, who are celebrating their centennial with a Freedom of the City Parade today in Sudbury, Ontario.

May 08, 2015

BC Ferries unveiled the name of its newest vessel and first-ever cable ferry, Baynes Sound Connector, at an official naming ceremony at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards in North Vancouver today.

May 08, 2015

Today, exactly 100 years after its first great battle of the First World War, approximately 150 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI) commemorated a century of PPCLI service to Canada by: re-dedicating a refurbished memorial to the Battle of Frezenberg; conducting a Freedom of the City Parade in Ypres; and participating in a service at Menin Gate in Belgium. One hundred years ago, the PPCLI, having fought fiercely throughout the Second Battle of Ypres, made its stand at Frezenberg, Belgium. The PPCLI held the line but at the terrible cost of losing most of “The Originals” – the soldiers who first signed up when the regiment was raised.

May 07, 2015

Boeing could be the latest international aircraft-maker to garner a deal for more fighter aircraft, with word that the U.S. government is nearing agreement to sell up to 40 F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet strike fighters to Kuwait. The deal, first reported Wednesday by Reuters, has yet to be officially announced by either the US or Kuwait, but officials in Washington have confirmed an agreement is close. Any deal will would require approval from the U.S. Congress, but it is unlikely a proposed sale to Kuwait, a staunch US ally in the Persian Gulf, would meet serious opposition.

May 06, 2015

U.S. investigators were investigating a claim by Islamic State that it was behind a failed attack on a Texas exhibit of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in which two gunmen were killed, but officials said on Tuesday they doubted the militant group's direct involvement. The Syria- and Iraq-based Islamic State said on its official online radio station that "two soldiers of the caliphate" carried out the attack on Sunday in Garland, a suburb of Dallas.

May 06, 2015

Yemen's rebels fired rockets and mortars into Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, killing at least three people and purportedly capturing five soldiers in an attack showing the insurgents' ability to launch assaults despite weeks of Saudi-led airstrikes targeting them.

May 06, 2015

Despite forbidding journalists from showing identifiable task force personnel, the PMO’s communications staff broke its own rules that are intended to protect the identity of Canada’s elite Special Forces, and posted videos online showing faces of JTF2 soldiers in Kuwait. At first claiming it had DND's blessing, the PMO later admitted that "after a second review it became apparent that two of the videos should not have been posted," said the PM\'s Director of Communications.

May 06, 2015

Albertans headed to the polls Tuesday after an eventful race to lead the province. Voting for the 2015 provincial election closed at 8 p.m. MT. By midnight, the NDP had claimed a majority government and Jim Prentice had resigned both the PC leadership and his seat. Voters have kept the Wildrose Party as the official Opposition and reduced the Progressive Conservatives to third-party status. NDP: 54 seats; Wildrose: 20 seats; PC: 11 seats.

May 05, 2015

NATO’s commander U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove made a surprising admission to American lawmakers the other day. He acknowledged NATO doesn’t have any real idea what the Russians are up to. “Russian military operations in Ukraine and the region more broadly have underscored that there are critical gaps in our collection and analysis,” Breedlove told the Senate Armed Services committee.

May 04, 2015

Approximately 5,200 Canadian Army soldiers, 700 Royal Canadian Air Force members, 700 American troops, and 150 British soldiers are participating in Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE this year (April 20 to May 23). This collective training event will validate the Canadian Army’s High Readiness task forces, provided by 5e Groupe-brigade mécanisé du Canada from Valcartier, Québec. Upon validation, these task forces will be on-call, at a moment’s notice, to deploy on domestic or international operations as assigned by the Government of Canada.

May 04, 2015

HMCS Fredericton joins Exercise DYNAMIC MONGOOSE today in the North Sea as part of its deployment under Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s response to Russia’s military aggression toward Ukraine. Under the command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), Fredericton will participate in the annual Anti-Submarine Warfare training exercise off the coast of Norway from May 4-14, 2015. The exercise includes 12 warships, 4 submarines, and air assets from NATO and non-NATO forces, which will conduct operational air, surface, and subsurface ASW training at the unit and Task Group level.

May 04, 2015

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence, today announced that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) have been appointed as Commodores-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. This is the first time in history that members of the Royal Family have been appointed as Commodores-in-Chief of the RCN. The announcement of the appointments coincides with the RCN’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, one of the longest, largest and most complex campaigns of the Second World War.

May 03, 2015

Hundreds of veterans and their families, along with politicos and other observers, gathered at the War Memorial in Ottawa on Sunday morning to pay their respects to those who fought and died in the Battle of the Atlantic, including those serving on 33 Royal Canadian Navy and 73 Merchant Navy ships — some 2,000 sailors and Wrens, and 1,700 Merchant marines. The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest single campaign of the Second World War, and considered key to the Allies’ victory.

May 03, 2015

Hearing that Nigeria's military was approaching to rescue females being held captive by Boko Haram, the terrorist rebels stoned some of the girls to death. Others were run over by a tank and some were reportedly blown up by a land mine trying to escape.

May 03, 2015

Although the three independent reports on the friendly fire incident in which Sgt Doiron was killed, General Lawson has told reporters that Canadian troops were found to have followed the steps “perfectly” and that “fatigued” Kurdish fighters shot accidentally.

May 03, 2015

Canada’s Immigration Minister answers criticism that Canada was slow to respond, saying Canadian Forces got to the site quickly and that the overall logistic situation is improving, however, runway damage forced Napalese authorities to shut down its main airport on Sunday to large aircraft trying to deliver aid.

Apr 03, 2015

Stephen and Laureen Harper, Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole, and approximately 100 Veterans were among the dignitaries at a commemorative ceremony in the Netherlands on Sunday to honour the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers to liberate the area from Nazi occupation 70 years ago.

May 01, 2015

A former commander of U.S. nuclear forces is leading a call for taking U.S. and Russian nuclear missiles off high alert, arguing that keeping them less ready for prompt launch would reduce the risk of miscalculation in a crisis.

Apr 30, 2015

Knowing full well that the Peacekeeper mandate requires an invitation from both sides of any conflict, the Ukraine government undoubtedly hopes public pressure will change the rules of the game as it asks the Canadian government to add peacekeepers to its more than than $400 million in aid and a military training force. For more on what Peacekeeping" means, read this archived article by retired army general Lewis MacKenzie.

Apr 30, 2015

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, today released an action plan to address inappropriate sexual behaviour in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) following several recent incidents. He also publicly released the independent external review authority’s report into sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. He was accompanied at a news conference today by Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West, Madame Marie Deschamps, former Supreme Court of Canada Justice and the External Review Authority, and Major-General Chris Whitecross, who is leading the CAF Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct.

Apr 30, 2015

French prosecutors are investigating accusations that French soldiers in Central African Republic sexually abused children they were sent to protect. A UN worker leaked information about the UN investigation to French authorities last year. That worker, identified by the Swedish government as Swede Anders Kompass has been suspended and is now under internal investigation.

Apr 30, 2015

A surveillance satellite as well as aircraft from private companies are being increasingly used to keep an eye on Canada\'s coast because the military's aging Aurora patrol aircraft aren't available as often, a DND report has found.

Apr 30, 2015

The defence lawyer for an Ottawa polices sergeant guilty of insubordination, corrupt practice and deceit told a hearing officer tasked with deciding Sgt. Rohan Beebakhee's fate that the "case is not about hookers" and that the veteran officer has earned the right to be considered for rehabilitation. Defence lawyer Bill Carroll, asking for a demotion over outright dismissal, was upset that the disciplinary hearing was being portrayed as a case of sexual impropriety when there was no evidence before the hearing to suggest that.

May 27, 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed April 27 that LGen Jonathan Vance, Commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command, will succeed Gen. Tom Lawson as Chief of the Defence Staff, with the official handover expected to take place in July. Vance, who has been front and centre for briefings on the current Royal Canadiana Air Force deployment against terrorists in Iraq and Syria, previously was Deputy Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples in Italy, and Chief of Staff Land Strategy for the Army, in addition to having twice led the Canadian task force in Afghanistan. "Gen. Vance has served the Canadian Forces for 33 years and is taking over […] an important institution at an important time, when we're part of the international coalition against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and also leading important missions to Eastern Europe to reassure our friends and allies," Harper said in a joint announcement at his Parliament Hill office with Defence Minister Jason Kenney.

Apr 27, 2015

Israel’s military said Sunday it launched an airstrike on its border with Syria after spotting militants carrying a bomb in the Israeli-held Golan Heights.

Apr 23, 2015

Federal government researchers will be testing a small Canadian-made drone in the Ottawa area to see if such unmanned aircraft could eventually be used to hunt for submarines and ships.

Apr 22, 2015

Approximately 125 CAF personnel returned home from Operation IMPACT last night, aboard a CC-150 Polaris aircraft. Canada’s contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force, Op IMPACT is the military mission of the international coalition against the so called Islamic State group. The personnel, who have been deployed since the Operation began in October 2014, were returned to their bases at 14 Wing Greenwood, NS, 8 Wing Trenton, ON, and 4 Wing Cold Lake, AB.

Apr 22, 2015

Operation NUNALIVUT 2015, one of Joint Task Force (North)'s premier High Arctic operations, concluded today after nearly one month of activity in and around the Cambridge Bay, Nunavut area. The Operation once again highlighted Canada’s ability to respond to threats in the north, bringing together Canadian Armed Forces members from 1 CRPG, 3 PPCLI, and RCAF to conduct sovereignty patrols.

Apr 22, 2015

Interpol has posted a red notice asking international police forces to arrest former Ottawa student John Maguire, who appeared in an ISIL video last December calling for terrorist attacks in Canada. He was believed to have been killed in Syria in January, but his recent addition to the Interpol wanted page suggests police have not confirmed his death.

Apr 22, 2015

In keeping with the Conservatives’ focus on defence and security, Finance Minister Joe Oliver used his first budget April 21 to confirm increased resources for the Department of Natural Defence.

Apr 22, 2015

The Conservative government expects to spend more than $360 million on Canada's fight against the Islamic State over the next twelve months on top of the $122 million that has already been spent on the war.

Apr 21, 2015

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the coalition needs to speed up its response times on the airstrikes on ISIS targets in order to have the enemy killed as quickly as possible. The Iraqi prime minister also said the coalition airstrikes need to be more precise and more effective.

Apr 20, 2015

The third group of Canadian Armed Forces personnel on Operation SIRONA departed the United Kingdom today for Kerry Town, Sierra Leone. The members deploy to West Africa following extensive training alongside their British military counterparts and in continued support of the Government of Canada’s response to the Ebola epidemic.

Apr 20, 2015

The federal government will increase funds in Tuesday's budget for Canada's security agencies as they mount a tighter crackdown on terrorism.

Apr 18, 2015

Former Canadian diplomat James Bissett says the Canadians could end up training members of the country’s fascist groups as those troops are now being enrolled in Ukraine’s regular forces. “These militias are being merged with Ukraine’s military so we won’t be able to determine who we are training,” said Bissett, Canada’s former ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania. “These are unsavoury groups that Canadian soldiers should not be associated with.” Some members of Ukraine’s most effective fighting units have openly acknowledged they are Nazi sympathizers or have expressed anti-Semitic or extreme right wing views.

Apr 17, 2015

HMCS Athabaskan departed Halifax today to support Operation Caribbe, Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking and organized crime in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and its approaches, and the eastern Pacific off the coasts of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador. Athabaskan will join allied forces in the area of operations later this month. She is the sixth Royal Canadian Navy ship to deploy on Operation Caribbe so far in 2015, and the third ship to deploy from Canadian Fleet Atlantic.

Apr 16, 2015

A small Canadian Forces contingent to Ukraine, where it’ll spend the next two years training up soldiers there in areas like explosive ordnance disposal, military policing, medicine, flight safety and logistics system modernization. It’s important, however, to keep our contribution in the proper perspective, says the Ottawa Citizen's Editorial Board.

Apr 15, 2015

Her Majesty's Canadian Ships Whitehorse and Nanaimo returned to CFB Esquimalt today after a deployment on Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and its approaches, and the eastern Pacific off the coasts of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador. The combined efforts of Whitehorse and Nanaimo during this important operation aided the United States Coast Guard in intercepting more than 5800 kg of cocaine, while providing a deterring presence in the international waters of the region.

Apr 15, 2015

Recently, what seems outwardly to be a pro-military Conservative government- has been quick to deploy members of the CF to help fight radicalism, train foreign nationals and stabilize regions in international hotspots. However right here in Canada their toughest assignment seems to be in getting these brave men and women into 21st century hardware to carry out these missions safely.

Apr 15, 2015

The 200 soldiers sent to train the pro separatist forces in the Ukraine may be a far more complicated mission than the one facing the 70 troops on a similar mission in Iraq.

Apr 15, 2015

200 Canadian troops are being asked to train Ukraine forces in a delicate balancing act between stability in a region less than 1500 km from the front lines and maintaining peaceful relationships with Russia.

Apr 14, 2015

General Tom Lawson and Minister Kenny announced today that approximately 200 Canadian troops will be deployed under the context of a training mission, far from the Russian border and conflict zone, to provide non-lethal assistance to Ukraine\'s efforts to fight Russian activity.

Apr 13, 2015

A military vehicle struck a roadside bomb yesterday killing two Malian soldiers and wounding three others in the south of Mali. The attack comes about a month after a masked gunman opened fire inside a popular bar and restaurant in the capital, leaving five people dead. The spike in violence is alarming Malian citizens. There was no immediate claim of responsibility though suspicion fell on an armed group that is aligned with the Islamic militants from the Timbuktu area in the north.

Apr 13, 2015

DND announced that a project to significantly boost Canada's search and rescue capabilities, one that was heralded with great fanfare in 2013, has been quietly put on hold by the Conservative Government. The proposed plan would have reduced time to detect, locate distress signal from 60 to 5 min.

Apr 11, 2015

HMCS Whitehorse actively assisted USCG Cutter Boutwell in the pursuit and subsequent interception of a vessel of interest in the Pacific drug transit zone. On scene, crew members from Boutwell retrieved 15 bales of cocaine, weighing more than 600 kg, from the water surrounding the vessel. This is the second significant narcotics interception for Whitehorse this year on Operation CARIBBE. On March 6th, the ship’s crew, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and in support of the USCG, assisted in the seizure of approximately 5284 kg of cocaine off the coast of Costa Rica.

Apr 09, 2015

The latest round of releases came Wednesday, after eight months of being targeted by US-led airstrikes. About 40 children were among those released, all of which were described as in poor health and showing signs of abuse and neglect.

Apr 09, 2015

Canada's "next level" involvement in the fight against ISIL came yesterday in Ar-Raqquah, Syria, as two CF-18's struck an ISIL garrison east of Aleppo. Defence Minister Jason Kenny announced the attack on Twitter in concert with an official press release.

Apr 08, 2015

Canada handed over command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) to France on 6 April at a ceremony in Manama, Bahrain. This concludes the second time Canada has commanded one of the Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) multinational maritime forces in the greater Middle East region. Commodore Brian Santarpia of the Canadian Armed Forces relinquished command to Capitaine de vaisseau René-Jean Crignola of the Marine nationale during a formal change of command ceremony held on board the French Ship Var.

Apr 07, 2015

In Countries such as Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, citizens are preparing for the worst despite the assurances from NATO allies that they are safe from Russian aggression.

Apr 07, 2015

As the holy season of Easter arrives in Iraq, many Christians are faced with the stark reality of suffering for their religion in a primarily Kurdish region or debate the merits of emigration. The population of Iraqi Christians has dropped by 2/3 since the US led invasion in 2003.

Canadian fighters participate in defence exercises
Apr 03, 2015

The Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) conducted comprehensive training on 2 Apr in support of its mandate to detect, deter, and defend against all threats to North America’s sovereign airspace. CANR conducted intercept and safe passage operations of two pairs of B-52 Stratofortress bombers returning from long range training flights through Canadian northern and eastern aerospace approaches. CF-18 fighters were scrambled from 3 Wing (Bagotville) and 4 Wing (Cold Lake) to intercept two B-52 Stratofortress bombers each in the northern and eastern extremity of the Canadian Air Defence Identification Zone (CADIZ) respectively. The B-52s were operating as part of Exercise Polar Growl, a separate training event under the command of United States Strategic Command.

Apr 03, 2015

On April 4th, the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) will be sinking the former HMCS Annapolis to make an artificial reef in Halkett Bay Provincial Marine Park on Gambier Island, British Columbia. The ship was purchased from the Federal Government in 2008 with the intent to making this the first artificial reef in the Greater Vancouver area. Leading up to the sinking, Annapolis has been meticulously cleaned of hazardous and pollutant materials and an estimated 250 tons of materials (almost everything but the steel hull and aluminum super structure) has been recycled.

Apr 03, 2015

Former foreign affairs minister John Baird has new part-time job – advising Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, son of one of the wealthiest men in Asia. Mr. Baird will be based in Toronto and offer Mr. Li advice on international matters as the tycoon makes investments around the world. Baird will be expected to conduct risk assessments, including political analysis, and appraise business opportunities.

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