Thursday, February 12, 2015

CAF to the Ukraine? New Minister Hints at possibility

The new Defence Minister Jason Kenney hinted late Wednesday that Canada is considering joining the United States in training the Ukrainian Military. Kenney also left the option open to extending Canada's mission against ISIS.

Kenney did not confirm anything, and nothing from DND has anything being official yet, but US forces are considering deploying to the Ukraine to help train the military on how to better defend themselves against Russian weaponry, including artillery and rockets.

The US mission would not begin until March of 2015, and by that point Canada's mission in Iraq is set to expire - but the Conservatives are likely to extend the mission, especially now that President Obama has asked congress for a limited ground war - and the wording he used is very similar to the mission Canadian Special Forces are doing right now.

So perhaps come March, Canadian Forces will be adding another training mission in the Ukraine to their list of deployments.

Original Article from Maclean's Magazein.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Canada in Iraq - CF-18's Bomb Four ISIS Fighting Positions

DND updated Canadians on Tuesday on its progress against ISIS in Iraq.

On Feb 6 2015, CF-18's while supporting Iraqi security forces on the ground near Mosul, struck an ISIS fighting position using precision guided munitions.

Early on Feb 7 2015, CF-18s while supporting Iraqi security forces on the ground near Baiji, struck an ISIS fighting position using precision guided munitions.

Also on Feb 7, 2015, CF-18's while supporting Iraqi security forces on the ground near Mosul, struck two ISIS fighting positions using precision guided munitions.

Two CF-18 Hornets prepare to resume their mission after being refueled by a CC-150 Polaris during Op IMPACT - Feb 4 2015. - Photo DND Combat Camera

Canadian Spec. Ops in Town attacked by Boko Haram

Update* Feb 25th
CTV News learned late Monday night that Canadian Special Forces who are in Nigeria as part of Exercise Flintlock, are in the town of Diffa, which was attached by Boko Haram during mid day yesterday.

Boko Haram detonated a car bomb in the city around 3 in the afternoon local time. There was no immediate death toll for the attack.

DND has reported that no Canadians were injured in the attack.

Canadian Special Forces are participating in Exercise Flintlock, which is an annual military exercise designed to help train African militarizes in cooperation.

The Ottawa Citizen reported today that Canadian Special forces have pulled out of Diffa after the earlier attack by Boko Haram. Their training mission was supposed to last until March 9th has been moved, and they will continue training Nigerian forces at another location, which has yet to be disclosed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

RCAF Hopeful for New SAR planes

It has been more than 10 years since it was announced that the Canadian Governent would being looking at options to replace the DeHavilland CC-115 Buffalo aircraft used on the West Coast as Search and Rescue (SAR) planes for nearly 50 years!

But, hold your breath, that doesn't mean the Buffalo can retire yet - it will mass the half-a-centrury of service mark before new aircraft are purchased and delivered to the RCAF.

The RCAF is hopeful that Treasury Board will follow its schedule, which it currently plans on February 19, to send the bidding request to aerospace corporations for the estimated $3.1 Billion program.

With the looming Federal Election, do not expect a purchase announcement this year - even the aerospace industry knows this - but they have been ready for years and are just waiting for the official invitation to start bidding.

Alenia Aermacchi is pushing the C-27J Spartan which can be seen here at its Canadian website - painted in Canadian SAR colors to show why it is the best fit.

Airbus Military is pushing its C295 which can be seen here describing why they believe it is the best fit for Canada.

Lockheed Martin is promoting the C-130J Super Hercules (of which Canada already owns previous models)

Look for all of these companies to begin heavy lobbying for their aircraft - this has been in the planning since 2004 - and all three will push hard - and other companies may want to join the party.
C-130J 135th AS Maryland ANG in flight.jpg
C-130J Super Hercules

C-27J Spartan 

Cyclone's Not Here Yet...

The Ottawa Citizen's Defence Watch had a reader report that the RCAF had taken delivery of 4 Sikorsky Cyclone helicopters at 12 Wing Shearwater.

While this is true...they are not an official delivery - the Ottawa Citizen inquired with DND and where told that the 4 Cyclone helicopters at 12 Wing Shearwater are here for Sikorsky fir Initial Cadre Training for Air Crew members.

Official delivery of the Cyclone helicopters by Sikorsky to the RCAF is set for Summer 2015

Misplaced or Misused in Kandahar? $513,000 Artillery Rounds Missing

The Canadian Press released yesterday that during Canada's exit from Kandahar in 2011, not everything was accounted for. While there where many things the Government wrote off, and either gave to the Afghan National Army or destroyed because they where not worth the cost of shipping to return them home; that is not the case with 3 Excalibur GPS Guided Artillery Rounds worth $177,224 each!

Original reports showed that 5 of the rounds were missing, but that was later amended to 3. Unlike single riffle bullets that can easily go missing from miscounting, misfires, and extra firing on ranges or that go unaccounted in combat is easy, as they cost pennies, but 3 large rounds that weigh 48 kilograms and are accurate within 20 meters even when fired from 40 kilometres away - don't just accidentally get fired.

While theft is a possibility - given the size of the rounds, and the fact that they where located in theatre, it is highly unlikely. The issue is, the loss still has major repercussions.  The rounds GPS technology is managed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulation, which meant an awkward report by DND to its Controlled Technology Access Office.

So where they lost, stolen or used without reporting?

One consideration is that they were lent to US forces operating in the same area in 2009. A request was made at the Canadian Munitions depot for several of the rounds for US forces, which was later denied, but were the rounds provided before authorization was given? That is unknown.

The loss of $513,000 was officially put on the books by DND as they have no record of where the Excalibur rounds went.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

UAE sends F-16s to Jordan to support anti-ISIS campaign |

In response to the killing of a Jordanian Pilot, the UAE, who had ended their air campaign against ISIS in late 2014, has send F-16s to Jordan to recommence attacks against ISIS positions.

Developing Story:

UAE sends F-16s to Jordan to support anti-ISIS campaign | CTV News