ltmurnau: (CX)


Went to the Canada Revenue Agency website to find out where to mail our tax returns (since the tax people did not only print insufficient forms, they also dropped out the pre-addressed envelopes... my tax dollars at work, on something else obviously) and was greeted by the above jigsaw puzzle.
ltmurnau: (CX)


We're sending 50 paratroopers to Poland to "conduct training in parachuting, airborne operations and infantry skills alongside Polish and American counterparts in this United States-led exercise with a view to enhancing Alliance interoperability and readiness," (according to a release from the PMO on Friday).

So, we got all three services in play now.
Ready for something something....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/50-canadian-troops-to-join-nato-exercises-in-poland-1.2629849
ltmurnau: (CX)


HMCS Regina is being removed from "anti-terrorist" duty in the Arabian Gulf (where one Canadian ship at a time been steaming in small circles for some years looking for dhows, feluccas, and xebecs up to no good), and will redeploy to an "assurance" task force in the eastern Mediterranean.

What they will assure, and how they will do it, remains to be seen.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/hmcs-regina-to-join-nato-s-ukraine-reassurance-mission-1.2627537
ltmurnau: (CX)


Half a dozen CF-18s and 200 ground crew etc. are headed for Somewhere in Romania... to stand by to Do Something Useful... Maybe... Just In Case....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cf-18s-head-to-romania-amid-uncertainty-about-nato-mission-1.2625727

Keep 'em flying, Zoomies!

ltmurnau: (CX)
Wow, actual bread and circus.
It's not surprising that the Legions feel cut out of things, since they haven't exactly been following the script lately...

Afghan mission Day of Honour planning catches legion off guard

Legions across the country have had only days to prepare for May 9 commemoration event
By Leslie MacKinnon, CBC News Posted: Apr 28, 2014 11:18 AM ET| Last Updated: Apr 28, 2014 4:53 PM ET

A May 9 National Day of Honour commemorating the Afghanistan conflict will include a parade in Ottawa and a breakfast for families of soldiers and others who died during the mission, the government announced today.

But the commemoration is also supposed to be celebrated across the country at legion halls and military bases, and the Royal Canadian Legion says it has had little time to prepare.

Scott Ferris, director of marketing and membership at the legion's national branch, said in an interview, "It's just that with 10 days to plan it doesn't give anyone time to do the great justice to this day that it really needs."

A total of 40,000 veterans will be honoured, as well as the 158 soldiers, one diplomat, one journalist and several civil servants who were killed in the conflict.

Rick Hansen, the B.C. Paralympian whose Man in Motion world tour in the mid-1980s raised money for spinal cord research, and whose foundation still raises money for the cause, will emcee the event.

The government says former prime ministers and former Govenors General to attend the ceremonies.

The day will also feature a relay called Soldier On — runners will carry the last flag from Afghanistan from Trenton, Ont., to Ottawa. The flag, inside a specially built baton, will be passed on through Napanee, Kingston, Perth, Kanata and Gatineau.

The concept of a special day on May 9 to mark the Afghanistan conflict was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on March 18 when the last Canadian military contingent pulled out of Afghanistan.

That's when the legion started asking questions, but Ferris said it was impossible until last week to even find out when the two minutes of silence would occur in order to co-ordinate the timing in legions across the country. (It will be at 1:30 p.m. E.T.)

"This could have been a fantastic national event with thousands of legion branches getting involved across the country, hundreds of thousands of volunteers. The best we are left with now is scrambling to make something happen," he said.

The tribute breakfast for the families of the fallen will be sponsored by the organization True Patriot Love, which raises money to support soldiers, veterans and their families, and is receiving offers of financial support from the private sector.

Although the breakfast is described as private, corporate sponsors will be able to buy tickets at $1,000 per person, or $3,500 for a group of four.

Controversy over costs

There had been some controversy over the Day of Honour when some families received notices they would be expected to pay their own costs for travel to Ottawa.

However, the government announced it will pick up costs for the families' travel, meals and accommodations while in Ottawa, if True Patriot Love can't raise enough to cover the expenses.

Ferris doesn't have any problem with corporate sponsors paying for families' expenses and says he's glad the private sector is "stepping up." He worries that if government picks up the entire cost, a precedent would be set for several other commemoration events coming up, such as the 70th anniversary of D-Day in early June.

At a news conference Monday a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office couldn't give even a ballpark figure for the Day of Honour's budget.

"Remembrance is fundamentally a key issue of the legion's mission statement," Ferris pointed out. "But back in 2012 we knew it was going to cost approximately $30 million to commemorate the war of 1812. We have seen nothing from the government in regards to cost."

He pointed out Remembrance Day is considered a day of honour for all veterans, and no one special ceremony was held for veterans of Bosnia or Rwanda.

Ferris continued that the government has been closing veterans affairs offices, and cutting back on some veterans services.

He said the legion's mission is split between honouring veterans and serving them. "We have to do both. But there has to be a balance."

NDP thinks government should pay families' costs

Jack Harris, the NDP's defence critic, said it is "totally inappropriate" to leave families at the mercy of voluntary donations and charities. "Are we trying to save money?" he asked. "You're left with the impression that the government is doing this without spending any money or doing it on the cheap."

Laurie Greenslade, whose son David was one of six soldiers killed on Easter Sunday in Afghanistan in 2007, told CBC News she and her husband planned to pay their own way to Ottawa. Then her husband's employer offered to pay "for everything."

"They wholeheartedly offered to do it, and they wanted to, and we were glad they wanted to, so we said 'yes,'" she said.

Other events for the Day of Honour will include:

■Displays of a Leopard II tank, a rigid hull inflatable boat, a military medical display and other displays from military engineers, Canadian Special Forces and the Foreign Affairs Department.
■Events across the country, in municipalities, local military bases and legion halls, some organized by MPs.
■A two-part fly-by salute. One will include a maritime patrol aircraft, a Globemaster, a Hercules, an airbus, and Griffon and Chinook helicopter, all used in Afghanistan.
■A ceremony for the families of the fallen in the Senate chamber with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Governor General, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson and Chief of Defence Staff General Thomas Lawson.
■ A 21-gun salute, and a single gunshot followed by two minutes of silence.
The Afghanistan memorial consisting of 190 plaques within eight panels will be on display in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill.

The parade will include 300 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, 32 RCMP members, local police and 50 civilians who were part of the Afghanistan mission. Along the way, veterans of the Afghanistan war will join in .

***

'an that's that about that.
ltmurnau: (CX)
I just look at this and think, "whu...?"
Really, what next...

May 9 Afghan tribute cloaked in secrecy with two weeks left to go
No detailed information available on upcoming event
The Canadian Press Posted: Apr 23, 2014 7:06 AM ET| Last Updated: Apr 23, 2014 7:06 AM ET

A Royal Proclamation, a moment of silence in schools, and the heavy beating of helicopter rotors over Parliament Hill are slated for May 9, but the Harper's government attempt to turn commemoration of the Afghan mission into a national event is facing delays, confusion and the sting of politics.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently designated May 9 as the day to honour the sacrifices in the 12-year war against the Taliban.

Aside from cursory references on two government websites, there's little information about the event.

Read more... )
ltmurnau: (CX)
Mark Campbell, who was the best Platoon 2IC I ever had when I was in the Army and who later lost both his legs in Afghanistan, is one of the six plaintiffs in this lawsuit.

Veterans don't have social contract, Ottawa says in lawsuit response
Federal government responds to class-action lawsuit aimed at New Veterans Charter
By Kristen Everson, CBC News Posted: Mar 18, 2014 5:00 PM ET

The federal government is arguing it does not have a social contract with veterans in response to a class-action suit brought by veterans upset with the compensation arrangement offered to wounded soldiers under the New Veterans Charter.

The veterans' lawsuit claims the charter and the changes it brings to compensation for veterans violate the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Read more... )

God damn this government, saving a few dollars on the backs of these maimed people.
Aki has never voiced an interest in serving in the military, but if he did I would counsel him not to, not when your own government comes right out and says, you get what you get, and if that's nothing, well then you get nothing.
ltmurnau: (CX)
Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan formally ends

Understated ceremony held under heavy guard at NATO headquarters in Kabul
The Canadian Press Posted: Mar 12, 2014

Canadian troops capped a deadly and dangerous 12-year mission in Afghanistan on Wednesday, hauling down the Canadian flag at NATO headquarters in Kabul during a ceremony that was held under heavy guard.

"We were quite explicitly told today in Kabul that we could not even report on this ceremony until after it was done because of security concerns," CBC correspondent Paul Hunter said from Kabul on Wednesday.

"After all this time, they are still worried about security here in Kabul, and I'll tell you, the streets are filled with checkpoints and barbed wire and giant concrete blocks."

The ceremony, held under sunny skies, ended with Canadians involved in the NATO training mission leaving aboard a U.S. Chinook helicopter. The remaining Canadian personnel will leave by the end of the week.
Read more... )

The link (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/canadian-military-involvement-in-afghanistan-formally-ends-1.2569162) leads to the site, where there are some infographics on the Canadian involvement in Afghanistan.
Twelve billion dollars in direct expenditure and 158 lives.
ltmurnau: (CX)
Triumphal arches, parades, panem et circenses.. and now it's starting to affect things that really matter.

Commemorations of historic military events could put current force at risk, internal documents say
By Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News January 10, 2014

OTTAWA — The federal Conservative government’s plan to commemorate a large number of military battles and accomplishments in the coming years poses a threat to the Canadian Force’s ability to do its job, according to internal Defence Department documents.

The Conservative government has come under fire in the past for emphasizing Canada’s military past at the expense of other social, technological and cultural achievements.

But this is the first time anyone has indicated that celebrating Canada’s past military contributions could actually undermine the Canadian Forces today, which opens a whole new avenue of questioning for the government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced this week that the government will be holding cross-country consultations in advance of celebrations over the next four years to mark a large number “defining moments” in Canada’s history.

While these moments will include some non-military milestones such as Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, the majority will center on the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Second World War’s 75th anniversary.
Read more... )

I really have to question commemoration of some of these events. Fenian Raids, Second Ypres, The Somme, the Halifax Explosion, Hong Kong, these were comical non-events (well, just the Fenian Raids) or Canadian disasters. And again, why observe the beginnings of wars?
ltmurnau: (CX)
So, pips and crowns and "Fusilier Bloggins" again.
(see below the cut if you don't know what I'm talking about)

Er-hr-h'rm... colour me unimpressed.

This is class-A pandering.
A symbolic act from a government that understands well, but really doesn't care, about the large power of small symbols that some people hold very dearly and never relinquished.
It's precisely to placate the grouchy 60+ year olds, exactly those who consider the last 46 years of the Canadian military to be an embarrassment and aberration, that this is being done - I thought the same thing when the RCN and RCAF got renamed, rebadged, what have you a year or two ago.
The Army just got to do this last.
Do you have to think very long about the dominant political power base of this constituency, or their voting behaviour?
Like the emigres who returned after Napoleon, they have forgotten nothing and learned nothing.

So, it's 1966 or less again - why stop there - red serge and tricorner hats, powdered wigs for Change of Command parades, or even further and return to Decuriones, Centuriones and phalerae worn on the cuirass?

I served too; wore pips on my mess kit and patrols, in fact - that part never went away.
And if I were serving today, I'd be putting up a grey square on my shoulder as well ("3rd Canadian Division" is more evocative than "Land Forces Western Area", but it doesn't give the Army any more actual divisions).
I understand military traditions, more deeply than Stephen Harper does (was he ever even in Wolf Cubs?) but I don't need to look like a photograph of my grandfather to be reminded that I am his grandson.
I recognize window-dressing when I see it, having taken part in many "dog-and-pony shows" in my time served, and this is one of those empty gestures.
The past is past, and while you may admire it or study it, frankly it's infantile and magical thinking to suppose that you can return to it (or rather, your coloured imagination of it) by adopting its trappings.

I'd sooner see the veterans of Canada's longest war taken care of properly, no matter what's on their slip-ons or whether they're addressed as "Rifleman" or not.
I understand it's not an either-or proposition, there's enough money to do both, but to see what's acted upon first betrays the priorities really in play.

Read more... )
ltmurnau: (Default)
http://youtu.be/VqqbSy_rD-4

I knew Major Mark Campbell in the 1980s when he was Sergeant Mark Campbell.
He was my platoon 2IC when I was a platoon commander in the Militia, and one of the most competent people I've ever known.
Unlike me, Mark went on to join the Regular Forces.
In 2005 he lost both legs below the knee in Panjwaii District (Afghanistan) when an IED went off next to his vehicle.
Now, he and many other disabled veterans are getting screwed over by Veterans Affairs Canada, for the sake of saving a few dollars and cutting a few positions in the organization.
I'm glad he is speaking out about it.
I am proud of my country and my service (though my sacrifices were usually limited to being cold, wet and tired, nothing at all like what he has given) but every day I have less and less reason to be proud of its government.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Nope, nothing surprising about thsi, nothing at all.

***
Canadian army short on mid-level leadership due to Afghan mission

By Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News November 28, 2011

OTTAWA — Canada's new training mission in Afghanistan is putting the army's "long-term health" at risk because of the demands being placed on the force's small number of sergeants, captains and other mid-level leaders, a new defence department report indicates.

There are now 19,500 full-time soldiers in the Canadian army, 3,000 more than in 2004. The force shrank significantly through the 1990s and early 2000s because of deep budget cuts, but began expanding again with Canada's involvement in combat operations in Kandahar starting in 2005.

That growth, however, hasn't been without its own problems, says the departmental performance report, an annual, internally-produced publication that looks back at the department's work over the past year.

"While Regular Force expansion has resulted in the Army having the right number of personnel, they are not distributed through the necessary ranks," the report reads.

It goes on to note that the army is "heavy" in lower ranks like privates, corporals and lieutenants, but "light" when it comes to senior non-commissioned officers like sergeants as well as mid-level officers like captains and majors.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk recently highlighted the importance of trained NCOs and mid-level officers.

"I cannot go onto the street and hire a sergeant, hire a major, hire a colonel," he told the Commons' defence committee on Nov. 3. "If you want a sergeant with 10 years of experience, it takes 10 years."

According to the performance report, military officials had anticipated that the end of the combat mission in Kandahar this past July would free up much-needed sergeants, captains and majors for other tasks.

But the government has since committed Canada to helping train the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police to ensure those two institutions are ready to take responsibility for the country's security by 2014.

The performance report says the Canadian military personnel who will be responsible for this task "are the same ranks which are (in) short (supply) in the army and are required in the training establishments (in Canada) where they preserve the long-term health of the army."

Instead, "the army has been drawing heavily on the militia to fill these gaps."

The militia is the army's name for its 16,000-strong reserve force.

The role of the reserves has come under scrutiny in recent months after a senior general, Andrew Leslie, noted recently that the number serving in the Canadian Forces has grown in recent years by 23 per cent, or more than 6,600, because regular force personnel were needed in Afghanistan.

This growth outpaced the regular force, with many of the so-called "weekend warriors" taking up full-time positions in headquarters and administrative positions. Leslie recommended slashing the number of full-time reservists to 4,500 as part of an effort to find $1 billion in defence department savings.

The Conservatives blasted past Liberal governments for overcommitting Canada's military, but University of Calgary defence expert Rob Huebert said the Harper government is in danger of doing the same thing.

The sergeants, captains and majors are the "heart and soul" of the army, he said, and their heavy commitment to Afghanistan is worrying for the army's long-term viability.

"Because it's always full capacity in Afghanistan instead of coming back to Canada to do the training," he said, "ultimately you end up eating your own young, so to speak."

Huebert said the report also highlights the dangers that are on the horizon as the defence department works to find billions in savings over the next few years.

lberthiaume@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/leeberthiaume

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

***
ltmurnau: (Default)
I loved to tell this story, about how the Canadian Rangers were issued an old Lee-Enfield bolt action rifle on joining and would get 300 rounds of ammunition for it per year for as long as they served. Not any more...

***

Canadian Rangers to replace storied Lee-Enfield rifles

By David Pugliese, Postmedia News August 1, 2011

After more than 60 years of carrying the venerable Lee-Enfield rifle, those who form Canada's first line of defence in the Arctic are getting new guns [ahem, rifles - "guns" have tripods or wheels].

If all goes well, the Canadian Rangers will receive their new rifles before the end of 2014, Canadian Forces officers said.

The Rangers, a sub-component of the Canadian Forces Reserve, patrol remote parts of the North and other isolated areas of Canada.

Since they were formed in 1947, the Rangers have been using the bolt-action Lee-Enfield rifle.

``While the Lee-Enfield is still an excellent weapon and meets the Rangers' requirements, there is difficulty in obtaining spare parts,'' said Forces spokesman Maj. Martell Thompson.

For the last two decades the military has been maintaining the rifles from spare parts taken from other Lee-Enfields.

Although the Canadian Forces are several years away from a shortage of parts, the number of spare components is becoming limited, Thompson pointed out.

At the time the .303-calibre Lee-Enfield was issued to the Rangers, it was the standard service rifle of the Canadian army.

[snip]

Thompson said after consulting with the Rangers, it was agreed that the new rifle would be in the 7.62mm/ .308 Winchester calibre, as this was best suited to meet the Rangers' requirements. He noted that ``.308 Winchester refers to a specific cartridge that is very similar to the 7.62 x 51 (NATO) cartridge, and is made by several companies.''

The military is in the process of expanding the Ranger force to around 5,000.

Maj. Bruce Gilchrist, the army's project director for small arms, said the plan to replace the Lee-Enfield would see 10,000 new rifles being bought. That amount should cover the need to supply or replace rifles over the next 30 years. Some other units might also want to use the new rifle once it is introduced, he added.

The replacement of the Ranger rifle is one of the items covered under the military's small arms modernization project which is working its way toward government approval. ``If all continues as presently planned the Rangers should see their first rifles before mid-winter in 2014,'' Gilchrist noted.

The small arms project is aiming for government approval in the summer of 2012.

The number of Rangers has increased to around 4,700, up from 4,100 in 2007. The number of Ranger formations, called patrols, went from 161 to 173.

Many Rangers are Aboriginal. They protect Canada's sovereignty by reporting unusual activities or sightings, collecting local data of significance to the Canadian Forces, and conducting surveillance or sovereignty patrols as required, according to the military.

Their mission is ``to provide lightly equipped, self-sufficient, mobile forces in support of the CF's sovereignty and domestic operation tasks in Canada.''

The Canadian army's headquarters authorized the first two Ranger companies in September 1947.

New patrols have been established at Faro in the Yukon Territory, Hay River in the Northwest Territories, Fort Nelson in British Columbia, Eabametoong, Kasabonica and Kingfisher in Ontario, Chisasibi and Iles-De-La-Madeleine in Quebec, and Hamilton in Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the government.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay recently met with the Rangers ahead of a major, annual Arctic sovereignty operation.

He presented members of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group with Canadian Forces Decoration medals in recognition of their 12 years of good and loyal service.

Members of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group will take part in Operation Nanook, the Canadian Forces' annual northern training exercise. That starts on Aug. 8 and runs for two weeks.

Ottawa Citizen

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

***

The Lee-Enfield was and is a remarkable weapon. Examples dating from the First World War in good condition have been taken from captured Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan or found in weapons caches.

Famous Foax

Jul. 9th, 2010 10:04 am
ltmurnau: (Default)
GEN David Petraeus, the new commander in Afghanistan, talks with BGEN John Vance, the commander of Task Force Kandahar, outside Kandahar City.



My tenuous connection to this picture is that John Vance and I were in the same platoon in "phase training" at the Infantry School in 1985, learning to be rifle platoon commanders. I remember wowing him once (but only once) because I knew more about Soviet tactics than he did. I always thought he would go far, not only because his father was also a general but also because he was quite tough and smart in his own right.
ltmurnau: (Default)
I never thought I would see something like this....

Canadian military no longer accepting infantry recruits

By Matthew Fisher , Canwest News Service
November 12, 2009 12:10 PM

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — So many young Canadians want to become trigger pullers in Afghanistan that the army is not accepting any new infantry recruits at the moment, according to the army's top general.

"I am 1,600 infantrymen over my establishment," Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie said Thursday, adding that the high numbers of recruits who want to "serve at the tip of the spear . . . completely refuted" any notion that there were problems getting people to serve in a wartime army.

"I still want young Canadians to show up at recruiting offices, but it just so happens that right now if you want to join the infantry, we're completely full," Leslie said.

The military also has many more volunteers for Afghanistan duty than there are places, the general — an artillery gunner by trade — said during an interview conducted after he had spent several days "outside the wire" in Kandahar with combat troops.

Canada's three infantry regiments have about 6,000 infantrymen, so these units — which have traditionally suffered the most in battle, as has been the case in Afghanistan — are presently more than 25 per cent oversubscribed.

To correct this unusual imbalance, the military is "slowing down recruiting for regular forces infantry for the next year or two," Leslie said, adding that the army is "encouraging folks from the infantry" to transfer to military jobs where there are still shortfalls, such as vehicle technicians and fire control system technicians.

So many Canadians still want to be part of the country's first major combat mission since the Korean War that the number of recruits and their quality is like nothing Leslie has seen in his three decades in the armed forces.

The military's success with recruiting follows a long television advertising campaign that has frequently highlighted the combat side of military operations. The ads, which have often run during hockey games and other sporting events watched by young men, have depicted troops taking part in missions on land and at sea in distant places that were made to look something like the Middle East or Southwest Asia.

"I find myself in a unique position in comparison to most of my fellow army commanders across NATO," Leslie said. "I have more volunteers every tour than I have positions. To come to Afghanistan is a competitive process."

The keenness of many soldiers to serve in Afghanistan may also be having an effect on attrition rates. For the infantry, the rate has fallen to 10 per cent from 12 per cent over the past 18 months, the general said. Across the entire army, attrition is down to eight per cent from 10 per cent, he said.

An informal survey of troops who have been in Kandahar during the past few months found many of those serving in combat arms were already angling to return to the Afghan province one more time with the battle group or as army or police mentors before Canada's combat mission is supposed to end in the summer of 2011.

The desire to get back to Afghanistan one more time is especially true of the last two infantry units scheduled to serve combat tours here — the Royal 22nd Regiment — the Van Doo — and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

I have to say, I find this amazing, as in my experience the infantry regiments were always understrength. And while 6,000 may seem a lot, remember that the Metro Toronto Police alone has over 5,700 "trigger pullers".

MilTwitter

Jul. 7th, 2009 02:15 pm
ltmurnau: (Default)
Interesting, but as noted in the body of the article, the Americans got there first. Though I am no longer in the Army, I have noted since the 90s a definite trend away from what British influence there was in our doctrine, equipment and tactics towards American domination of same.

Canadian military considers own version of Facebook, Twitter

By Andrew Mayeda, Canwest News Service
July 7, 2009 2:01 PM

The Canadian military is considering developing its own version of social-networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter to help soldiers communicate and improve teamwork in the increasingly networked environment of modern warfare.

The research and development arm of the Department of National Defence plans to hire a contractor to research and develop social-networking software for military use, with a view toward developing an internal prototype by as early as next March.

Read more... )
ltmurnau: (Default)
Follow on to previous (http://ltmurnau.livejournal.com/200535.html):

Reserve units to form core of new Arctic force

By David Pugliese, Canwest News Service March 23, 2009

The Canadian army has designated four reserve units to form the backbone of a new Arctic force to be created over the next five years.

Eventually the units, with about 480 personnel in total, could conduct exercises up to four times a year in the North. They would also be available to respond to any incident in the Arctic.

At the same time the Canadian Forces is continuing with its expansion of the Canadian Rangers, made up of First Nations and Inuit reservists. That expansion to around 5,000 personnel is expected to be completed by 2012.

The reserve units are 1 Royal New Brunswick Regiment, Voltigeurs de Quebec, Grey and Simcoe Foresters from Ontario and the Royal Winnipeg Rifles.

The army will start off with small numbers of soldiers but eventually work its way up to having company size units, with about each having around 120 personnel, said Lt. Col. Bernie Ciarroni of the directorate of land force development, responsible for reserve issues.

The work up will give troops a chance to develop the skills they need as well as get additional equipment for Arctic operations, Ciarroni said.

Depending on the situation, regular army units may respond first or combine to join forces with the reserve units in reacting to an incident in the Arctic.

But Ciarroni noted the selected reserve units will constitute the leadership of the Arctic companies. "Our focus is getting them up there so they can understand the environment and survive in it," he said.

Initially, the units will go up North once or twice a year, with other initiatives added over time. The first operation could be scheduled for the fall.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has emphasized that Canada will increase its military presence in the North as part of his government's Canada First defence strategy.

The navy and air force are also looking at ways to increase their presence in the north.

© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
***

Wow, a whole battalion (eventually) to police the frozen North. Expanding the Rangers makes a lot more sense, frankly, but if there's no regular force troops available then a company of the Gay and Simple Foresters (as we used to taunt them Back In The Day) will have to do - because you could put the entire Army on sentry-go up there and there'd still be no way to cover all that space.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Military readies reservists for threats to 'domestic front'
Adrian Humphreys, National Post
Published: Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Canadian military has embarked on a wide-ranging plan to turn its reserve soldiers into focused units trained and equipped to respond to a nightmarish array of domestic threats, including terrorist "dirty bomb" attacks, biological agent containment, Arctic catastrophes and natural disasters.
Read more... )
Interesting article, including the frank admission that on certain occasions, it is necessary to keep people inside a secured perimeter.

These units would be commanded by "Canada Command", a headquarters created in 2006. It is headed by a Lieutenant General or equivalent rank (right now it's a Vice-Admiral). The Command is divided into six Regional Joint Task Forces (which would exercise operational command of units), three Search and Rescue Regions, and the Combined Force Air Component Commander. These organizations are "delegated authority to task available Canadian Forces resources within their areas of responsibility in support of domestic or continental operations". This includes reservists, of course.

Here also is a link to an interesting corollary, the Civil Assistance Plan that sets out the conditions under which the armed forces of the United States would "assist" the Canadian Forces (and, at least theoretically, the other way round) in the event of some kind of domestic event.

http://www.canadacom.forces.gc.ca/docs/pdf/cap_e.pdf

But this also reminds me (and this is what Bercuson is referring to) of the 1950s, a time when the reserve forces were all tasked with something called "National Survival": in effect, they were all to be converted to Civil Defence troops used to keep things in order in case of an atomic war. Enrolments plummeted; no one wanted to join the storied ranks of the Royal Buckshot Fusiliers just to learn how to work a Geiger counter or roll bandages.

(Heh, I just read a page or two of CF slang, and found I actually have a "Bachelor's Degree in Applied Ballistics and Crisis Management" (i.e. I completed Infantry Phase Training) from "Fire and Movement University" (the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown, near Fredericton NB). Class of 1985.)
ltmurnau: (pantzooka)
Here's a blast from my past:

N.B. army base sprayed with toxic chemicals
Last Updated Mon, 13 Jun 2005 11:47:01 EDT
CBC News
A herbicide considered three times more toxic than the cancer-linked Agent Orange was sprayed on a New Brunswick army base in 1966, CBC News has learned.

Read more... )
I trained at the Infantry School at Gagetown in the summers of 1983, 1984 and 1985. The area where the defoliants had been most heavily sprayed was still dead - all silvery-gray with dead trees sticking up everywhere. We were warned not to drink the water there, it was stagnant anyway. We did a fair amount of slogging back and forth in the swamps there.

[EDIT: Now the civvies of Gagetown want compensation! http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/06/14/newagent-orange050614.html]

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