Friday, March 27, 2015

CAF Military Police begin tour in Sinai Peninsula

It was announced this week that a Canadian Armed Forces Military Policy contingent officially took over providing police security services for the next four years for the people living in Multinational Force and Observation camps in the Sinai Peninsula.

Earlier in March, 37 members of the Military police joined the 31 members of the CAF who are already deployed as part of OP CALUMET, Canada's current commitment to the Multinational force.

The Multinational  Force and Observation group has been in place since 1981, and Canada has been a continual member sine 1985.

Canada in Syria: US Pushed for Canadian Support

Jason Kenney, Minister of Defence revealed on Wednesday this week that the US has been pushing for Canada to join its forces in deploying air strikes in Syria - mainly because of the RCAF's guided munitions.

The United States has made it very clear that Canada's precision-guided munitions, and expertise would be welcomes in Syria. This is because the several Arab allied nations who are also bombing in Syria do not have access to the guided munitions, or are unwilling to deploy them to this region.

The Minister of Defence did not say if the US actually asked Canada to join the US in Syria, but the option was left open. The US made it clear that they respect Canadian sovereignty and will respect whatever decision the government makes, while saying the RCAF would be a welcome addition to the air war against ISIS in Syria.

The precision-guided munitions the CF-18s are using are all completely US made and sold - and many other NATO allies (including France, Britain and Australia) also use them. NATO last year complained that they did not have enough available. Canada is the first Western ally to join the US-led air war in Syria.

The motion is expected to pass the parliamentary vote with the Conservative majority in the House of Commons.

PBO Says CAF Unaffordable with current model

The Parliamentary Budget Officer has opened his report about the funding of the Canadian Armed Forces, and his findings are what many expected - that the current size, acquisition planning, and active engagements - The Canadian Armed Forces are unaffordable with the current budget and budget planning.

The current budget stands at $21.5 billion (1.1% of GDP) the PBO says to maintain the current size, including troops, planes, tanks, ships, and purchase planning, the budget needs to me at least 1.6% of the GDP, which would mean an increase of $3 billion annually. NATO pushes its member states to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence.

To read the original article and more breakdowns, please see the link below:
PBO: CAF Unaffordable 

RCAF Chinooks getting missile defence upgrade

The Ottawa Citizen's Defence Watch -  reported that the RCAF's fleet of newly acquired Chinook heavy lift helicopter's are getting a new missile defence system.

The missile defence system is being built by Northrop Grumman. The system will automatically detect missile launches through infrared technology. If the system believes there is a threat to the aircraft it will activate a high intensity laser-based countermeasure to track and defeat the threat.

Northrop Grumman's laser based countermeasure equipment is scheduled to be installed on more than 1,000 military aircraft around the world this year.

No financial information about the upgrades were provided.

Original Article:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Canada in Iraq: RCAF CF-18's Bomb Two Positions (Last Week)

(I preface this post with an apology for delay - I came down with the flu - hence the lateness)

Last Friday, March 20, 2015 DND announced that Canadian CF-18s had bombed two more ISIS positions in Iraq, a weapons facility and a fighting position during the previous week.

CF-18s have seen little action in the past few weeks as coalition members are looking to increase their percentage of air strikes against ISIS, just as Canada is. Canada is expected to expand its air campaign into Syria in a vote in Parliament this Thursday, March 26, 2015.

Canada's War against ISIS to expand to Syria

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked the Canadian Parliament to support a motion that will be put forward to debate on Thursday March 26, 2015 to extend and expand Canada's current support for Op IMPACT. PM Harper has asked for a 1 year extension through March of 2016, and an expansion of the RCAF Air campaign into neighbouring Syria.

The current mission is set to end on April 7, 2015. Both opposition parties have responded with their disapproval of the motion, and have clearly said they will not support the mission. The NDP says they will pull the plug on the military mission if they get elected. This is despite the fact a majority of Canadians support the mission. With the Conservative majority - the vote is expected to be the same as it was last fall when the Conservatives all voted in favour of the mission. The debate on Thursday will be symbolic if little else.

PM Harper clearly outlined that they will not ask for Syrian permission to invade its airspace, but follow the lead of the US who are currently the only coalition member bombing ISIS targets in Syria. The RCAF will be able to target ISIS's heavy equipment which has been moved out of Iraq to hide from coalition strikes. Canada will become the first Coalition member to bomb targets alongside the US in Syria.

Last Friday in was announced the CF-18s had bombed two more ISIS positions in Iraq, a weapons facility and a fighting position.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney said late last night that the RCAF is looking to increase the number of air strikes possible, which will be possible in Syria, as several other nations are also bombing ISIS targets in Iraq, leaving few for Canadian fighters.

No details we given whether an increase in air-strikes means an increase in the number of CF-18s in the region will increase, or what the increase in flight time means for the governments current life extension of the CF-18s through 2025.

The expansion of the RCAF air campaign into Syria will not include Canada's 69 Special forces members who are currently training Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq.

Two RCAF CF-18's taxi in Kuwait before their next mission, January 2015.
Photo: Op IMPACT CF Combat Camera