Thursday, February 26, 2015

RCAF Drone's To Be Purchased or Further Delay?

The RCAF has been looking to purchase Drones (UAVs) since it outlined its various options to Air Force Staff in 2005.

The issue is, the following year in 2006, Canada's operations in Afghanistan picked up, and Canada opted to lease UAVs for immediate use from numerous aerospace industries, with the option to purchase them at a later date. The full financials were not provided to the RCAF for these options according to an internal audit.

The RCAFs Joint Unmanned Surveillance Targeting and Acquisition System (JUSTAS) was supposed to be operational in 2010. That date was later pushed back to 2012, and just recently been pushed to 2017.

However, recent reports from the RCAF to industry experts, the Air Force does not expect UAV operational systems in place until 2023.

The latest outline shows a contract awarded for the drones possible between 2019 and 2020, with delivery taking place between 2021 and 2025. That is if the RCAF procurement stays with its plan this time, it will only be a decade and a half behind schedule. Who knows what operations we will be involved in in 2025, and what capability we will require.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

HMCS Fredericton visits Agira War Cemetery

Casualty Record Detail

The Royal Canadian Navy released news today that while deployed in the Mediterranean, the crew of HMCS Fredericton took an opportunity to visit the Canadian Agira War Cemetary in Sicily.  The visit took place on January 23 2015.

During the Invasion of Sicily in 1943, the 1st Canadian Infantry and 1st Canadian Tank Brigade captured Agira. The cemetery is located on a hill side in the commune of Agira, located in the Province of Ennn - right in the heart of Sicily. Following the fall of Sicily, a decision was made to consecrate one cemetery for all Canadians killed in action in Sicily. The Agira Cemetery contains the resting place of 490 (6 are still unidentified) Canadians killed in 1943. (Another 58 who drowned while en route to Sicily are commemorated on the Cassino Memorial, in mainland Italy.

The crew of HMCS Fredericton held a small rememberance ceremony in memory of those who gave their lives during the Second World War, and where given time to wonder the site and pay their individual respects to those buried there.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13

Canadian Spec. Ops wrap up in Malaysia

Canadian Special Forces members have been in Malaysia, helping train Malaysian special forces for a while, and the closing ceremonies for the training mission where held on February 19th 2015.

These training missions have been the go to for the Canadian Special Forces Regiment (CSFR) in recent years, training in; Mali, Niger, Jamaica, Belize, Kenya, Jordan, Afghanistan, and most recently in Iraq. The CSFR is considered one of the best in the world for what they do. CSFR included the Petawawa based regiment and JTF2 just outside Ottawa.

Malaysian forces have been invited, and are currently in Canada, training in Cold weather operations and techniques.

A rotation of training exercises between Canada and Malaysia will continue for the next two years.