Saturday, October 10, 2015

RCN Personnel to serve on Spanish AOR

According to 28 members of the Royal Canadian Navy will serve on the Spanish AOR the Cantabria during JOINTEX-15.

This is the same AOR the RCN is looking to lease to help fulfil the Navies supply gap neededs on the East coast next year. reports that the Spanish Navy will lease the Cantabria to the RCN in 2016; just as it did for the Australian Navy in 2013.

However, according to the RCN; while they confirm that this is the plan, no formal arrangements have been made yet.

More details to follow when not posting on a mobile device. :)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Project Resolve: Asterix iAOR to be ready by 2017

Davie Shipbuilding announced on October 8, 2015 that the Asterix had been successfully delivered to its ship yard in  Levis, Quebec, and the final transfer of ownership is complete.

Davie and Project Resolve, will now being retrofitting the Asterix to become an intermediate Auxiliary Oil Replenishment (iAOR) ship for the Royal Canadian Navy until its new Berlin-Class (to be named Queenston-Class) are built.

The Asterix will then operate on a leased basis from Davie to the RCN. Davie announced that they expect the vessel to be delivered and entered into service during the summer of 2017.

HRH Prince Charles Visits RCN Ships

Navy News / October 8, 2015

By Lieutenant (Navy) Kelly Boyden

His Royal Highness Prince Charles and Commander Kristjan Monaghan
His Royal Highness Prince Charles (2nd from left), along with Commodore Craig Baines (left), Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic, and Rear Admiral John Weale (back), Flag Officer Scotland Northern Ireland, are shown the Operations Room by Commander Kristjan Monaghan (center) Commanding Officer of HMCS Montreal on October 3, 2015.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, and recently appointed Commodore-in-Chief Canadian Fleet Atlantic, visited Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Montréal and Her Majesty’s Canadian Submarine Windsor on October 3, 2015, while in Faslane, Scotland. The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) vessels were alongside Faslane in preparation for the start of military exercises JOINT WARRIOR and JOINTEX 15.

His Royal Highness, accompanied by Commodore Craig Baines, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic, expressed his pride in being the ships’ Commodore-in-Chief, conveyed his appreciation for the hard work of the ships’ companies, and wished them success in Exercise JOINT WARRIOR. He also took the time to promote a young sailor in HMCS Montréal from ordinary to able seaman, and presented a deserving officer with his bridge watch-keeping certificate.

“It was a profound honour for the whole of the Royal Canadian Navy to host His Royal Highness during his visit,” said Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, from National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. “The Royal Family and Canada’s Navy have maintained a strong relationship since the foundation of the RCN in 1910. It is fitting that His Royal Highness was able to visit HMCS Montréal, one of his fleet’s newly modernized frigates, as well as HMCS Windsor, on the eve of the submarine’s date of commissioning into the Royal Canadian Navy 12 years ago.”

The visit aboard Montréal and Windsor was the first opportunity His Royal Highness has had to visit Canadian Fleet Atlantic ships since being appointed their Commodore-in-Chief on May 5, 2015. As Commodore-in Chief, His Royal Highness is kept informed of all important Canadian Fleet Atlantic activities and engages with the fleet in a ceremonial capacity as opportunity allows.

“Together with the Commanding Officers of Montréal and Windsor, Commander Kristjan Monaghan and Lieutenant-Commander Peter Chu respectively, as well as the entire ships’ companies, it was a source of great pride to host our Commodore-in-Chief,” said Cmdre Baines. “The ships’ companies were particularly thankful for the opportunity to provide His Royal Highness with a first-hand look at the ships and personnel of his fleet.”

The ship and submarine, along with HMC Ships Halifax, Athabaskan, and Winnipeg, are participating in Exercise JOINT WARRIOR from October 4 to 15. The Canadian Armed Forces will also be represented by two CH-124 Sea King helicopters embarked on HMCS Athabaskan and one Sea King embarked on HMCS Winnipeg, as well as a CP-140M Aurora aircraft, during the semi-annual military exercise hosted by the Royal Navy.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

AOPS To Get Friend or Foe Identification

David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen wrote yesterday that the RCN's Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) will be getting Thales IFF Technology. 

An Artists Rendition of the (Under Construction) AOPS Photo: CBC 
Here is his Article:

Published on: October 7, 2015 | Last Updated: October 7, 2015 5:03 PM EDT

Thales has recently been contracted by Lockheed Martin Canada to supplying IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) interrogators and transponders for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships.

The Long Range IFF interrogator will enable AOPS to identify friendly aircraft and to ensure 360 degree cooperative civilian and military aircraft surveillance, Thales noted in a news release.

More details from the firm:

The contract won by Thales is based on the latest version of the BlueGate Long Range IFF interrogator products and new miniaturized transponder. It is fully compliant with the latest version of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) civilian standards and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) / US Department of Defense (DoD) military standards. 
By fulfilling the latest standards, the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships will be able to make surveillance without any restriction, in particular to on shore Civilian Secondary Surveillance Radars.

Thales has supplied over 19,000 IFF units for more than 100 types of aircraft, vehicles and naval vessels worldwide.

NATO Will Support Turkey against Russia - if Needed

In a statement made yesterday by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; NATO will defend all its members, including Turkey. Secretary General Stoltenberg was directly referencing Moscow's incursion into Turkish airspace earlier this week, and encounter with US fighter aircraft.

NATO is meeting with its members to discuss possible deployment options should Moscow continue to threaten NATO's southern boarder in Turkey. So will Canada become involved in Turkey? Only time will tell.

Below is an article published by CTV News Staff & the Associated Press:

John-Thor Dahlburg, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, October 8, 2015 3:34AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 8, 2015 6:47AM EDT

BRUSSELS - NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said alliance defence ministers on Thursday will consider the implications for NATO's own security of the "troubling escalation of Russian military activities" in Syria.

He said NATO is ready to deploy forces, if needed, to defend alliance member Turkey.

On Wednesday, Russian warships fired cruise missiles in the first combined air-and-ground assault with Syrian government troops since Moscow began its military campaign in the country last week.

Over the weekend, Turkey reported back-to-back violations of its airspace by Russian warplanes.

U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter and his counterparts from the 27 other NATO nations had already been scheduled to meet Thursday in Brussels.

Stoltenberg told reporters the meeting will receive an update from its military commanders on the situation in Syria, as well as Afghanistan.

"In Syria, we have seen a troubling escalation of Russian military activities," Stoltenberg said. "We will assess the latest developments and their implications for the security of the alliance. This is particularly relevant in view of the recent violations of NATO's airspace by Russian aircraft."

NATO on Monday issued a statement demanding that the violations cease. Russia called its penetration of Turkish airspace a minor incident that was unintentional. Stoltenberg had already brushed off the Russian explanation.

"NATO is able and ready to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threat," the secretary-general said Thursday. He said NATO had already increased "our capacity, our ability, our preparedness to deploy forces, including to the south, including in Turkey, if needed."

"We are constantly assessing the situation also with the Turkish government," Stoltenberg said, adding that he would be meeting later Thursday with Turkish Defence Minister Mehmet Vecdi Gonul.

British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon accused Russia of acting chiefly in Syria not to attack the Islamic State terrorist organization but to shore up the beleaguered government of President Bashar al-Assad, thus making a serious situation "much more dangerous." NATO officials have expressed fears there could be an encounter, accidental or otherwise, between Russian planes and air forces of the U.S.-led coalition attacking Islamic State in Syria.

"We'll be meeting today to see what we can do to de-escalate this crisis particularly in terms of air safety," Fallon said as he arrived at NATO headquarters. "We'll be calling on Russia specifically to stop propping up the Assad regime, to use their own (air) crews constructively to stop Assad bombing his own civilians."

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Russia must recognize that if it targets opposition groups in Syria that are fighting Islamic State, "Russia will strengthen IS and this can be neither in the Russian interest, nor in our interest."

The defence ministers' meeting, their first since June, is also expected to approve ongoing efforts to retool NATO to meet a daunting array of contemporary security threats. Decisions expected include approval for two new NATO headquarters units in Hungary and Slovakia to enhance their defences and speed the deployment of reinforcements sent by other alliance nations, and changes in the beefed-up NATO Response Force to, in Stoltenberg's words, make it "bigger, faster and more capable."

"We are facing many challenges from many different directions," Stoltenberg said. "Conflict, instability and insecurity."

"We will assess what we have to do to adapt NATO to current and future challenges," he said-including cyberattacks and the mix of conventional and unconventional tactics commonly known as hybrid warfare.

Canada in Iraq: RCAF Strikes 3 ISIS Positions

In an update to their OP IMPACT page, the RCAF announced earlier today that RCAF CF-18 Hornet aircraft struck three ISIS positions on October 8, 2015.

Below is the Statement from the RCAF:

On 07 October 2015, while taking part in coalition operations in support of Iraqi security forces, two CF-18 Hornets successfully struck two ISIS fighting positions in Sinjar using precision guided munitions.

On 07 October 2015, while taking part in coalition operations in support of Iraqi security forces, two CF-18 Hornets successfully struck an ISIS fighting position south-southeast of Mosul using precision guided munitions.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Canada in Syria: No Coalition Cooperation with Russia

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday the U.S.-led coalition has not agreed to cooperate with Russia in the fight against the Islamic State and no collaboration is possible as long as Moscow continues to strike other targets, the Associated Press writes.

Here is the rest of the Associated Press article:

He said the U.S. will conduct basic, technical talks with Russia about efforts to ensure that flights over Syria are conducted safely, and, “That’s it.”

Carter spoke during a press conference in Rome with Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti. A Russian official has called for broader talks on cooperation in the Syrian conflict.

The United States, Carter said, is not prepared to cooperate with a strategy of Russia’s that is “tragically flawed.”

“They continue to hit targets that are not ISIL,” Carter said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group. “We believe that is a fundamental mistake.”

Carter said he is concerned about the Syrian ground offensive that began Wednesday backed by Russian airpower. Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar Assad, has hit Western-backed rebels fighting Assad. The U.S. maintains that the only route to peace in Syria is to remove Assad from power.

The US was still waiting Wednesday for a formal response from Russia on a draft document laying out proposed technical safety procedures for the aircraft flights, said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

Russia on Tuesday informed the United States that Moscow is willing to continue talks to ensure that the two countries’ aircraft don’t interfere with each other. But Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said the talks should be much broader and also cover potential international cooperation between Russia and the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

The Pentagon only wants talks aimed at making sure there are no conflicts, collisions or other problems as the U.S.-led coalition and the Russians fly over Syria. The U.S. side has proposed a number of safety measures, including using specific international radio frequencies for distress calls by military pilots flying in Syrian airspace.

Carter had called on Russian leaders to discuss Moscow’s military activities in Syria, reflecting urgent concerns about Russian aircraft violating Turkish airspace. NATO on Monday denounced Russia for “irresponsible behavior” for allowing its warplanes to cross into Turkey.

U.S. and Russian officials met once by video conference late last week, before the Russian incursion into Turkish airspace.

Carter and other NATO defense ministers are expected to discuss how to deal with the problem when they meet in Brussels Thursday.

The U.S.-led coalition has been routinely conducting airstrikes on Islamic State militants in Syria.

Russia says the airstrikes it began last week are directed against the Islamic State group, as well as al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliates. But the U.S. and France say at least some of the strikes appear to have hit Western-backed rebel factions fighting government troops, with the real goal of protecting Assad.

On a week long trip to Europe, Carter is focused on reassuring European allies of U.S. support as they face growing security threats from a more aggressive Russia and militant extremists from north Africa.

(the above was written by the Associated Press)

Eelction 2015: NDP Promise to Maintain Spending; Increase Peacekeeping

As the NDP continues to slide in the polls - they are releasing their partial Defence policy plan.

If elected on October 19th (which seems less and less likely, daily) the NDP promise to maintain stable defence spending (but provided no details on what that number is) and plan on returning Canada to the Peacekeeping table. The NDP eye to make Canada the top troop contributor among Western nations in a few years - all according to Murray Brewster of the Canadian Press.

I won't even go into the Peacekeeping aspect of the promise - as my regular readers know - Canada's Peacekeeping image is a Myth that has stood for too long. I am not against it, or the UN, but only in the right circumstances.

Also included in the NDPs Defence policy is a very pricey ($$$$) around the clock response time for Canada's Search and Rescue Squadrons. The problem with such a proposal - the RCAF has long said that such a plan is too costly and labour intensive - let alone the fact that the RCAF does not operate enough aircraft for such an endeavor in our vast landscape - especially in the North. The NDP claim that this would move Canada into the international standards with regards to SAR.

While Mulcair said earlier in September that the party would not kill the F-35; the party admits that the F-35 does not fit into the Defence strategy it sees for Canada; and such a review would discover the same thing.

The biggest issue is the "maintain" stable defence spending. The Parliamentary Budget Office says that the $20 Billion budget for the Department of National Defence needs to be increased to maintain current troop and equipment levels. The NDP have only said they would maintain a budget for our existing commitments - not new ones or possibly future ones.

To increase transparency throughout DND, the NDP have said they would also create an Inspector Generals Office.

CAF Recognize and participate in Mental Illness Awareness Week

Below is a News Release from DND: 

Ottawa - During Mental Illness Awareness Week being held October 4-10, the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) highlight mental health programs and services available for CAF personnel and their families. Senior military leadership at both the national and local levels are encouraging frank and open dialogue regarding mental illness, and profiling mental fitness and suicide awareness courses as part of the Strengthening the Forces program.

Quick Facts
One in five Canadians will suffer with a mental illness in their lifetime.
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada including the DND and the CAF.

Mental health awareness programs are a significant part of the CAF mental health continuum of care because they encourage personnel to recognize the signs of mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and to seek early treatment.

The CAF have quality mental health services and programs available to our members. There are 37 primary care clinics; 31 of which have specialized mental health services. There are seven Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centres, which are centres of excellence in areas such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Members are encouraged to access expert help at their base and wing clinics however may also contact the Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program (1-800-268-7708) if required.
Military families can receive confidential support through the Family Information Line (FIL), a 24/7 service that offers support to military members and their families. FIL counselors are well-versed on CAF communities and services and can also connect callers with helpful national and local resources, including local Military Family Resource Centre and Deployment Support Group, 1-800-866-4546 or 1-613-995-5234.

DND and the CAF are committed to furthering Canadian understanding and treatment of mental illness. They actively participate in the annual Canadian Military and Veteran Health Research Forum which brings health researchers together so they can engage with other researchers, the CAF, Veterans Affairs Canada and other stakeholders to exchange valuable knowledge and build new collaborations. The forum is focused on improving the health and well-being of Canadian military personnel, veterans, and their families. This year’s event will be held in Quebec, Quebec, on November 23-25, 2015.


“Our mission to care for our own is ongoing and all-encompassing. We all have a role to play in encouraging dialogue on mental illness. Noting the operational requirements of the Canadian Armed Forces, I cannot overstate the importance of maintaining healthy levels of physical and mental fitness. I encourage all members, and Canadians alike, to talk and learn more about mental illness and how we can combat the stigma associated with it together.”
General Jonathan Vance,
Chief of the Defence Staff

“Mental Illness Awareness Week is an important opportunity to promote dialogue about mental illness and the resources available for those in need. Together with our civilian partners, we are continually expanding our research and understanding of mental illness to enhance our care to those impacted by it. I encourage everyone to open the dialogue about mental illness and do their part to reduce stigma and encourage access to care.”
Brigadier-General Hugh MacKay
Surgeon General

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

HMCS Athabaskan Sidelined from NATO Exercise

This article was written by  DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN

An aging Canadian warship, on its way to military exercises that are designed to send a strong message to Russia about the West’s resolve over the crisis in Ukraine, is now sidelined because of engine troubles.
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship ATHABASKAN departs Canadian Forces Base Halifax Dockyard, Nova Scotia for Operation CARIBBE at on April 16, 2015. Photo: CF Combat Camera
One of the four engines on the 43-year-old HMCS Athabaskan stopped working, sending the destroyer to a port in England for about a week, sources told the Citizen.

Maintenance crews from Canada will be brought in to work on the ship.

Navy spokesman Lt.-Cmdr. Al Blondin confirmed Athabaskan is in port in the United Kingdom and that technicians will replace one of the destroyer’s four engines. The ship has two main engines and two cruise engines.

The ship could continue to operate safely with one of the cruise engines not functioning but the navy “determined the repairs will be made immediately to maintain the most economical modes of propulsion while ensuring optimal propulsion redundancy,” Blondin said.

“Once the necessary repairs to Athabaskan have been made, it will return to sea to participate in Exercise Trident Juncture.”

In June, Defence Minister Jason Kenney announced 1,600 Canadian military personnel, including up to five Canadian vessels, would take part in the major NATO exercise, which he said was meant to send a strong message to Russia over its actions in eastern Europe.

Kenney said the Canadian military’s participation in the exercise would ensure both NATO and Canada are well positioned to respond to any crisis.

Trident Juncture is now underway and will run until Nov. 6. HMCS Athabaskan was taking part in an earlier, related exercise when its engine malfunctioned.

Blondin acknowledged the destroyer is old but also pointed out that engine replacements are sometimes required, regardless of the class or age of ship.

HMCS Athabaskan, the flagship of Canada’s Atlantic fleet, was also sidelined earlier in the summer with cracks in its hull and various other engine issues, the Citizen reported in July.

Earlier this year, the ship broke down in Florida because of engine problems. It later broke down in the Caribbean, again because of engine issues.

HMCS Athabaskan sailors have contacted the Citizen to note a litany of problems, including limitations on fresh water on board the vessel. The ship has also been stripped of some of its radars and weapon systems, sailors say.

But the navy says it has confidence in the ship’s ability to continue to meet its duties. “It should be mentioned that HMCS Athabaskan’s role within the fleet has evolved over time,” said navy spokeswoman Lt. Linda Coleman. “During its service life, it has served as a platform capable of long-range anti-submarine warfare, area air defence, and enhanced command and control. Today, HMCS Athabaskan continues to fill a role that meets the current requirements of the fleet.”

The navy is trying to cope with a dwindling number of ships. The destroyers HMCS Algonquin and HMCS Iroquois were recently decommissioned. Iroquois was taken out of service after cracks were found in her hull. Another destroyer, HMCS Huron, was decommissioned, then sunk in 2007.

The navy had hoped to replace its four destroyers and 12 frigates with 15 new warships. The Conservative government approved the acquisition of “up to 15” new vessels.

But last week, Kenney said inflation and other factors could mean the navy would end up with only 11 ships.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has promised that, if elected, he would put more money into naval shipbuilding to ensure the navy has enough ships. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has argued that is not necessary as his government launched a massive shipbuilding program.

Project Resolve: Asterix to Salvage Parts from HMCS Protecteur

This is a follow-up to my previous post on Project Resolve.
below is an article written by David Pugliese for Defence Watch.

The Following Article was written by DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN

The Asterix, the commercial ship purchased by Davie for Project Resolve is on its way to Canada. Resolve will provide an interim AOR capability to the Royal Canadian Navy because of the delay in acquiring the Joint Support Ships (estimated time of arrival for the navy on the first JSS is 2020, 2021 for the second).

Davie and its team will refurbish Asterix into a refueling/resupply vessel and then provide this service to the RCN under a lease agreement.

Work is still being done on the final proposal and that still needs Treasury Board approval.

When will that approval happen?

It is unclear at this point.

Davie has received some initial money from the government but that runs out later this year.

The Canadian government will have to decide on a five or seven-year lease for the provision of such services.

The ship will arrive at Aecon’s Pictou, Nova Scotia shipyard where Project Resolve engineers will do some initial work, sources have told Defence Watch.

From there it will be sent to Davie yards in Quebec– the plan is to make sure the ship reaches there before winter sets in.

The ship will be later transferred to the West Coast so the replenishment at sea (RAS) system from HMCS Protecteur can be installed, sources told Defence Watch. The RAS system was not damaged in the 2014 fire that led to the decommissioning of Protecteur. Sea trials on the refurbished Asterix will be done on the West Coast.

Davie hopes the whole process will take about 15 months from the date a contract is signed.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Canada in Iraq: 3 Strikes in 5 Days for RCAF against ISIS

With the RCAF airstrike numbers slowing down; especially during the 2015 Election - the RCAF have launched 3 strikes in the first 5 days of October.

4 Oct 2015

On 4 October 2015, while taking part in coalition operations in support of Iraqi security forces, two CF-18 Hornets successfully struck an ISIS fighting position west of Sinjar using precision guided munitions.

3 Oct 2015

On 3 October 2015, while taking part in coalition operations in support of Iraqi security forces, two CF-18 Hornets successfully struck an ISIS fighting position west of Kirkuk using precision guided munitions.

2 Oct 2015

On 2 October 2015, while taking part in coalition operations in support of Iraqi security forces, two CF-18 Hornets successfully struck two ISIS fighting positions in the vicinity of Sinjar using precision guided munitions.

RCAF Air Weapon Systems Technicians, deployed as part of Air Task Force – Iraq, prepare munitions for loading to a CF-188 Hornet, at the Camp Patrice Vincent flight line in Kuwait, during Operation IMPACT on August 1, 2015. Photo: CF Combat Camera - Modified for OPSEC Purposes 


During the last week of September, HMCS Halifax left Norfolk Virginia, to meet up with HMCS Montreal and Athabaskan and USS William McLean and The Sullivans for the Trans-Atlantic voyage to the NATO led joint military exercises JOINT WARRIOR and TRIDENT JUNCTUR; refereed to as JOINTEX-15 in Canada.

HMCS Athabaskan, Montreal, and Halifax
HMCS Athabaskan, Montreal, and Halifax transit alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans during Task Group Exercises on their way to participate in JOINT WARRIOR, a United Kingdom-led multinational cooperative training exercise designed to prepare NATO and allied forces for global operations.
Below is the press release from The Department of National Defence: 

The ships are currently transiting the North Atlantic Ocean and will be conducting Task Group Exercises (TGEX) in preparation for the upcoming multinational military exercises JOINT WARRIOR and TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15, which is also referred to as JOINTEX 15 in Canada.

TGEX plays an important role for Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ships’ crews by providing interoperability training for embarked fleet staff. HMCS Halifax will be flagship for TGEX, using new equipment fitted during its modernization to support the embarked Commander and his staff.

“This is an exciting time for the Royal Canadian Navy,” said Commodore Craig Baines, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic and head of the Canadian-led task group. “Our modernized frigates are proving their worth and their capability not only to take part in, but also to take the lead during, international maritime exercises. Our sailors, and all Canadians, can be proud of our country’s continuing reputation for excellence at sea.”

Exercises JOINT WARRIOR and TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15 will take place in October and in November off the coast of the United Kingdom as well as of Portugal, Spain and Italy. They are two of the largest multinational military exercises to take place in recent years, with Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15 being the largest NATO exercise in more than a decade.

These exercises will provide a challenging and complex tactical learning environment, further demonstrating the agility and adaptability of the RCN, its efficiency and effectiveness in working with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army, as well as its interoperability with allied navies and military assets from around the globe.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Kenney: RCN could receive as few as 11 CSC's

Last week a report came out regarding the $26 billion dollar budget for the Royal Canadian Navy's Canadian Surface Combatant Fleet which is supposed to replace and modernize the 4 HMCS Iroquois destroyers and the 12 HMCS Halifax-Class Frigates.

The initial CSC order called for 16 vessels to be built under the program. That number was later reduced to 15 due to budgetary constraints.

On Friday, October 2, 2015 Defence Minister Jason Kenney confirmed the bottom number possible. Kenney indicated that the government will not just write a blank check to the CSC program to ensure that 15 vessels are built - inflation and planning are taking their toll on the $26 Billion fixed budget, that is loosing close to $1 million per day in delays.

Kenney confirmed Friday that the $26 billion will purchase between 11 - 15 CSC Vessels. So 11 is now the bottom number. Now the Navy is concerned it will not get enough vessels to maintain its current level of operations; both domestically or internationally.

The lowered number does not come as a surprise to many Navy insiders; who have hinted that the fixed budget could produce as few as 8 CSC vessels.

With 8 to 11 CSC the Navy might have to look elsewhere to find more vessels to increase the size of its fleet. It is the only Navy in the world belonging to a country that borders 3 Oceans - and it might be down to 8 major vessels. That is pretty sad for a Navy that was once the third largest in the world (Post World War Two).