Home grown Canuck news

This week's news:

One Canadian has been killed in the Mumbai hostage/seige. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/081128/world/india_shooting

Former Ottawa gas station owner now the President of Puntland and shelter for Somalia pirates: http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=23ef96ef-509f-4e38-88f6-1d1fffde0186

Eight canuck soldiers injured in IED - Afghanistan - http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...ldiers_injured_081122/20081122?hub=TopStories

Canuck led mission flushes Taliban from Zhari: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/081120/national/afghan_cda_operation

Tory minority government could face toppling by coalitiion of opposition: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081128.wfiscalparties28/BNStory/politics/home

Stephen Hawking takes Ontario University appointment: (we get him for a while, sorry UK)http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...127/steven_hawking_081127/20081127?hub=Canada

DND asking for 2B for new vehicles:

DND seeks more than $2B for vehicles for Afghanistan
Insiders question strategy given tough economic times

David Pugliese
The Ottawa Citizen

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Department of National Defence plans to ask the government to approve a multibillion-dollar package to purchase new armoured vehicles and rebuild others that have been worn down by continued use in Afghanistan.

Defence Department equipment and policy bureaucrats, along with army officers, are working on the proposal they hope will be presented sometime next month.

They will ask Defence Minister Peter MacKay to approve three vehicle projects at once and the value of the combined equipment package is estimated to be more than $2 billion.

But privately, some defence industry and military representatives are questioning the strategy of asking the government for blanket approval of such a large amount of money at a time of increasing concern over the economy.

They worry that the price of the vehicle programs will make it easy for some members of cabinet to raise objections and withhold approval for all three.

The Defence Department plan proposes the purchase of what is being called a "close combat vehicle," which would accompany the army's Leopard 2 tanks into action. The proposal also calls for the purchase of a new armoured tactical patrol vehicle and an upgrade of the existing LAV-3 armoured vehicle fleet, which has been worn down in Afghanistan.

Mr. MacKay's press secretary, Jay Paxton, said the minister is open to looking at all equipment proposals from the department.

"The government has been clear in that they will provide our troops with the equipment and protection needed to do the jobs asked of them," Mr. Paxton said. "Having said that, no proposal has come forward to Minister MacKay's office on this particular vehicle acquisition."

Defence officials hope by tying the three projects together they can better explain the need for the vehicles and how they fit into the overall military structure.

The push for new vehicles for the army comes at a time when the air force and navy are also proposing large-scale equipment purchases.

The navy wants a new joint support ship, Arctic patrol vessels and eventually a replacement for its destroyers and frigates. At the same time, about $3 billion will be spent modernizing the existing Halifax-class frigates.

The air force want to acquire 16 Chinook helicopters, new maritime patrol aircraft, search-and-rescue planes and an eventual replacement for the F-18 fighter aircraft.

Alan Williams, the Defence Department's former assistant deputy minister for materiel, said combining programs for blanket approval from cabinet is a risky proposition. He said the Harper government needs to be informed about where the vehicle programs fit into the overall defence policy, what the procurement strategy will be and why these three programs, above others, should proceed.

"You're talking about a couple of hours' worth of discussion for each project," said Mr. Williams, author of the book Reinventing Canadian Defence Procurement. "If you bundle three together, it could be a non-starter.

"It's a lot for ministers to get their head around at one time," he added.

Some cabinet ministers might also object to giving the department blanket approval and may want more control over the process, he said.

The purchase of new vehicles for the army is outlined, but without specifics, in the Conservative government's Canada First defence strategy, released earlier this year.

An army report leaked to the Citizen in the spring outlined the degree to which the Afghanistan war has taken a toll on the LAV-3s, as well as the army's other vehicle fleets.

"All of our equipment is either deployed, being reset, used in training or broken and waiting either labour or spare parts," wrote army commander Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie in the January report.

There is concern among some in the Canadian Forces about whether there will be enough money in future budgets to finance all of the equipment purchases, but Mr. MacKay has continued to point out that the Canada First strategy lays out enough funding for any new acquisitions.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2008
Slow news day here.

One more Canadian killed in Mumbai: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...1128/bc_mumbai_081128/20081128?hub=TopStories

The son of a Naval Vet loses battle to repatriate his father's medals: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...127/Simmons_medals_081127/20081127?hub=Canada

Griffons are on their way to AFG: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2813

Cdn Forces Grievance Board appoints a new member: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2811
Getting through basic training at age 43... Congrats to Pte Nesbitt


Pic of the day: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/_photos/orig/AX2008-0254.jpg
Reconnaissance patrol members from the Primary Leadership Qualification (Land) Module 6 disembark from a 12 Wing, 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron CH-124B Sea King helicopter, during EXERCISE FINAL THRUST.

The aim of Exercise Final Thrust is the practical application of theory and knowledge in order to assess the leadership ability of the non-commissioned-member to perform common Army tasks. The exercise kicked off at CFB Greenwood with heliborne operations to Detachment Aldershot. Note: It is not snowing at the time the image was taken -- roto wash is kicking up powdery snow from off the ground.

Photo : Sgt Todd Berry, Army News
CDS visits HMCS Ville de Quebec: http://www.cefcom.forces.gc.ca/site/fs-ev/2008/11/27_e.asp
BZ to the crew for a job well done for protecting merchant shipping carrying valuable food cargo to beleaguered African nations.

Everything you ever wanted to know about "Canada First" Defence Strategy: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/focus/first/defstra_e.asp
Words fail me, with the loss of three Canadians today. Our media can now stop waiting to report the 100th death, it happened along with the 98th, and 99th. There will be no more death watch now, wondering who it will be or when.

Goodbye my friends, my brothers, my countrymen. I will remember you. To the families, we are standing with you.

And to our politicians who play at running a country instead of leading it. What do your egos say now? While you threaten to tear my country apart, and claim to wage war in our House of Commons, our men and women are dying to uphold what we believe are righteous acts. Your actions only lead to giving yourselves a vacation. How can you look at yourselves in a mirror knowing you were too busy trying to stroke your own egos instead of paying attention to the needs of the violent theatre of operation you sent us to defend.

Our three soldiers will be be repatriated tomorrow. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...207/highway_heroes_081207/20081207?hub=Canada

Khandahar Memorial: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...7/soldiers_monument_081207/20081207?hub=World

Liberal leader Stephane Dion is expected to resign on Monday - A race for the leadership is expected to include Bob Rae and Michael "Iggy" Ignatieff (read his book called Warrior's Honour to see what he's about) http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe.../rae_ignatieff_081207/20081207?hub=TopStories

Canada opens it's Joint Task Force Air Wing in Afghanistan: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...dian_airpatrol_081207/20081207?hub=TopStories
Maybe not the time and place to say it but it's a pleasure to have the Canadians batting on the same team.

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