Friday, February 10, 2017

Liberal Sideline Motion to Study Purchase of Super Hornets

By: David Pugliese, Defence Watch 

The Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations won’t be studying the purchase of 18 Boeing Super Hornets anytime soon.

Conservative MPs Alupa Clarke, and Kelly McCauley, the party’s critics for Public Services and Procurement, moved a motion Thursday calling on the Liberal members of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates to immediately undertake a study of the government’s proposed purchase of the Super Hornets and that the committee report its findings to the Commons no later than Thursday, April 13. Debate on this motion was shut down by the Liberal majority on the committee, the Conservatives said.

Alupa Clarke and Kelly McCauley issued a statement following the committee: “The Liberals have once again used their majority on the Committee to shut down debate on the motion to study the Boeing sole-source contract. It is unacceptable that we are forced to resort to procedural tactics to have a study on such a massive contract for Canada. Despite the concerns of experts, military officials, and public servants, the Liberals will not allow this discussion to happen.”

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced in November the Liberal government’s decision to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornets as “interim” fighter jets until a permanent fleet for the existing CF-18 aircraft could be bought.

Sajjan said Canada is facing a capability gap because it doesn’t have enough fighter jets to fulfill its military missions. Sajjan blamed the situation on the previous Conservative government, which he said had bungled the project to replace the aging CF-18s.

But Conservative defence critic James Bezan has questioned the Liberal claim the CF-18s are on their last legs. He has pointed out that military officers have stated those fighter jets can operate effectively until 2025, more than enough time for a permanent replacement jet to be bought.

Defence department officials had earlier warned against buying an interim fighter jet. But the report containing those warnings, which had previously been on the department’s website for more than a year, was quietly removed after the Liberal government announced its Super Hornet purchase.

The Defence Research and Development Canada report recommended against the purchase of such “bridging” aircraft to deal with gaps in capability. “The costs involved with bridging options make them unsuitable for filling capability gaps in the short term,” according to the report. “Any short term investment results in disproportionately high costs during the bridging period.”

The Liberal government has acknowledged the decision to buy the 18 Super Hornets will cost more in the long run but they haven’t provided details on what that amount might be.

There is no right now price tag,” Sajjan recently told journalists. “Once we have gone through the right process, have all the necessary information, then we’ll have an actual price tag.”

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Iraqi Kurds to receive sniper rifles, anti-tank weapons, mortars from Canada

By: David Pugliese, The National Post 

Canada will provide long-range sniper rifles and anti-tank weapons to the Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State (ISIL) in northern Iraq, the Department of National Defence said Wednesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a year ago that Canada would arm the Kurds, and DND said Wednesday the list included .50-calibre sniper rifles equipped with silencers, 60mm mortars, as well as Carl Gustav anti-tank systems. Details about the numbers of each type of equipment were withheld for security reasons.

Other gear includes grenade launchers, pistols, carbines, thermal binoculars, cameras, scopes and medical supplies.

DND did not say when the arms would be delivered.

“We are currently working through the administrative, legal and various supply arrangements to enable the delivery of equipment,” DND spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said Wednesday. “Exact delivery dates will depend on the Government of Iraq, as well as the availability of the identified equipment for delivery.”

But a Kurdish general told a Kurdish news outlet that within a month, Canada will make good on its promise.

“It should include weapons, military equipment and devices for the size of a battalion — everything, not including vehicles,” Brigadier General Hajar Ismail, director of coordination and relations at the Kurdish Ministry of Peshmerga told Rudaw, a Kurdish media outlet. “The paperwork is done, Baghdad has signed off.”

Trump’s vow to use torture against ISIL won’t affect how Canada fights in Iraq, general says
Matthew Fisher: What happens after Mosul falls will set the new status quo for region
Kurds urge Canada to provide heavy weapons for war against ISIL, as well as for their independence

Canada required that the Iraqi government provide written approval to proceed with the provision of the equipment to the Kurds.

It took until December before the Iraqis did that, according to DND.

The issue of arming the Kurds, who have been trained by Canadian special forces, is highly controversial. Kurdish leaders openly acknowledge their intent is to eventually create an independent state. They argue it is their right to break away from Iraq, pointing to Quebec’s attempts to leave Canada as an example. The arms are needed both to fight against ISIL and to defend an independent state, Kurdish leaders have said.

It is unclear why Iraq took almost a year to approve Canada’s arming of the Kurds. In the summer, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the delay was due to bureaucratic roadblocks and not resistance from the Iraqi or Turkish governments.

The U.S. military already has provided Kurdish units with mortars, anti-tank weapons and armoured personnel carriers. The U.K. announced last year it had shipped heavy machine guns and ammunition.

In August 2016, Germany resumed its weapons shipments to the Kurds. Such shipments were halted after it emerged that some of the weapons Germany previously supplied to the Kurdish Peshmerga had turned up on the black market.

Germany’s latest shipment included 1,500 rifles, 1 million rounds of ammunition, three armoured vehicles and 100 MILAN guided missiles.

RCAF CF-18s Accidentally Attempt to Land at Old Airport in Florida

By: Maggie Solomon, My Panhandle News 

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Some Panama City residents got a pretty big shock Tuesday morning. They witnessed a couple of military fighter jets flying abnormally close to the old airport.

"Very loud," said James Robinson, a resident in The Woods Subdivision. "I haven't heard that sound in a long time."

As former military, he knew exactly what kind of aircrafts he saw: CF 18 Hornets. But as to who they were or what they were doing, he couldn't say.

"Wheels down, flaps down is a good indication that somebody's going to put it on the ground," said Robinson.

Robin Gillam-Jenkins was out walking her dog when she saw the two aircrafts - seemingly coming towards them. As a former pilot, she estimated them at about 400 feet.

"We don't have a runway anymore for anyone to land, so there's really no reason for anybody to be flying that low," said Gillam-Jenkins. "Just kind of wondered what was going on."

According to the Royal Canadian Air Force, the planes were attempting to land at the old airport but not on purpose.

"They spotted I guess it's Sweetbay Airport which is now closed and thought it was International," said Capt. Matthew Strong with 4 Wing Cold Lake. "They called the tower and asked for confirmation. When they were doing their approach, the tower informed them no, you're actually at a closed airport."

Strong said the fighter jets were diverted from Tyndall to land at Northwest Beaches International, and when the pilots saw what they thought was the runway, they went in for a landing.

"They'd be coming in, lining up with the runway, getting prepared to land, maybe even lowering their gear," said Strong. "And then at several hundred feet before touchdown, they would just basically just fly over the field."

The aircrafts were diverted because of a minor in-field emergency at Tyndall. Both jets landed at Northwest Beaches International without incident.

RCAF combat support squadrons in Florida for training

By: David Pugliese, Defence Watch

Aircraft and personnel from three Combat Support Squadrons (417, 439 and 444) of the RCAF, as well as one Transport and Rescue Squadron (424), are taking part in Exercise SOUTHERN BREEZE in the U.S. The exercise is at United States Coast Guard Air Station Miami in Opa Locka, Florida. It began Monday and runs until March 4.

“The exercise is designed to employ the skills required to deploy a small scale force and sustain operations while dislocated from main supporting units,” according to a news release from the Canadian Forces.

Training will also be done with the U.S. Coast Guard.

More information from the RCAF:
Approximately 120 personnel (up to 50 personnel at any one time) and three CH-146 Griffon helicopters are deployed to United States Coast Guard Station Miami in Opa Locka, Florida.
Exercise personnel and equipment come from all three RCAF Combat Support Squadrons, and one Transport and Rescue Squadron:
3 Wing Bagotville: 439 Combat Support Squadron (CSS);
4 Wing Cold Lake: 417 CSS;
5 Wing Goose Bay: 444 CSS; and
8 Wing Trenton: 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron; and Transport Standards and Evaluation Team

Semi-annual currency requirements for day and night overwater operations and boat hoisting become a challenge to maintain during the winter months for some RCAF squadrons. Frigid temperatures and local ice conditions in Cold Lake, Bagotville and Goose Bay result in a lack of training areas available to conduct training.

CAF Members Serving in Kuwait Lose major tax exemption

By: Mercedes Stephenson, Reporter, Ottawa Bureau, CTV National News

Canadian troops critical to the fight against ISIS have lost a major tax break that had saved them more than $9,000 each over the course of a six-month tour.

The tax breaks, worth between $1,500 to $1,800 per month, are provided to soldiers who meet certain criteria related to the risk of their duties and the relative hardship of their living conditions while deployed overseas.

Fifteen soldiers at Camp Arfijan, a base in Kuwait, lost the tax break in September, after the military downgraded the risk level. They fought to get it back, arguing that they faced no less danger or hardship than other soldiers stationed in the country.

But instead of restoring the tax break to Camp Arifjan’s soldiers, the military took the exemption away from the more than 300 soldiers stationed in Kuwait who will no longer be eligible as of June 1st, 2017.

One soldier told CTV News that, out of all the nations fighting ISIS, he believes the Canadians are the only ones who will not be getting the tax break. The Pentagon confirmed to CTV News that all American soldiers deployed to Iraq receive tax exemption status.

Military sources say the change is already causing hardships. One deployed soldier supports his disabled sister and pays his elderly mother’s mortgage, and now their financial future is uncertain.

His mother, Glenda Lindsay, said it feels as though her son is being cheated. “They're cutting corners at the troops' expense,” she told CTV News.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan promised to fix the situation at a defence committee meeting on Dec. 1 when he was pressed by Conservative Defence Critic, James Bezan.

But there has yet to be any change. One affected soldier feels like “we got kicked in the stomach.”

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Four Companies ask Canada to Delay Shipbuilding Bidding

By: David Pugliese, The National Post 

A third of the companies involved in a $26-billion project to build a new fleet of warships for Canada have asked the Liberal government to delay bidding as problems continue to mount for the program.

On Monday, the Ottawa Citizen reported that one of the world’s largest shipbuilders — Fincantieri — had told Procurement Minister Judy Foote the project was so poorly structured it had doubts whether it would bid.

Foote’s department has now confirmed that four firms have come forward to request the bidding process for the Canadian Surface Combatant be delayed.

Canada has pre-approved 12 firms to bid on various aspects of the program, which would see Irving Shipbuilding construct a fleet of new ships for the Royal Canadian Navy.

“Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. are considering the extension requests,” Jean-François Létourneau, a spokesman for Public Services and Procurement Canada, noted in an email. He did not identify the companies requesting the delay.

The Liberal government announced on Oct. 27 that Irving had issued a request for proposals from companies on the design of the new warships.

The firms have until April 27 to provide those bids, which must not only include the design but details of teaming arrangements with Canadian firms.

Allowing only six months to compile bids for one of the largest procurements in Canadian history doesn’t make sense, say representatives of some of the companies. The extent of the technical data and other information the Canadian government requires is overwhelming.

Fincantieri’s letter to Foote provided a detailed outline of other problems with the acquisition process, warning that “Canada is exposed to unnecessary cost uncertainty.”

There is also the belief in industry circles that the Liberals favour the design from the British firm BAE, which is offering the navy the Type 26 warship.

Foote had previously said only proven warship designs would be considered, to reduce the risk of problems. But the Liberals retreated on that, and will now accept a Type 26 bid, even though the vessel has not been built yet.

Over the last several months, various firms have highlighted their serious concerns about the project but are frustrated Foote has not acted to deal with those, industry sources added.

But Foote’s spokeswoman, Annie Trépanier, said industry has been repeatedly consulted on the project and an independent fairness monitor is involved in the process.

Irving spokesman Sean Lewis said the contract for the design would be awarded to an existing warship design that best fits the requirements of Canada’s navy. All bidders are being treated equally and no one bidder has an unfair advantage, he added.

Industry officials aren’t the only ones raising concerns. In December 2015, Vice Admiral Mark Norman told CBC journalist James Cudmore the Canadian public had not been given accurate information about the growing price of the ships. Norman warned the project, originally budgeted at $26 billion, could end up costing taxpayers $42 billion.

Cudmore is now a procurement adviser for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.

Norman was temporarily removed from his job as vice chief of the defence staff on Jan. 13 by Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance. The government and military have declined to provide a reason for the decision.

Canada mobilizes campaign team for Security Council bid

By CHELSEA NASH, The Hill Times 

Global Affairs Canada has established a dedicated team to work on the government’s goal of winning a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council beginning in 2021.

Eight people are working on Canada’s bid for the Security Council, with six at headquarters in Ottawa and two at Canada’s permanent mission to the UN in New York City, according to the foreign ministry.

Jocelyn Sweet, a spokesperson for Global Affairs, wrote in an email that the team is “tasked with co-ordinating at headquarters, at the UN in New York, and across our diplomatic network to support the international engagement of the prime minister, ministers, and diplomatic representatives.”

She said the team, which has been put together using existing resources, “provides senior officials advice on how Canada can most effectively strengthen its international engagement, particularly with respect to this important multilateral forum.” She added that “staffing requirements to support Canada’s engagement at the UN and resource allocations will evolve over time.”

Former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson said he knows some of the senior advisers working on the campaign. He said he thinks it’s “smart” that the government has an organized team.

“I think you need, obviously, diversity covering different parts of the world, because this is a geographic election, at the end of the day.”

Tamara Mawhinney is the executive director of the campaign team and is based in Ottawa. According to her LinkedIn page, Ms. Mawhinney has a background in working with multilateral organizations, most recently with La Francophonie. Her deputy directors, all based in Ottawa, are Jeremy Adler and Brian Darling. Also working on the campaign in Ottawa are senior policy officer Lindsey MacKinnon, policy adviser Ashley Lefler, and adviser Jeffrey Heaton. The department wouldn’t give the names of those working for the team in New York who, like other diplomats posted abroad, are not listed on the government’s online staff directory.

Global Affairs declined a request to interview a member of the team, citing timing.

The top diplomat on the file is Canada’s permanent representative to the UN in New York City, Marc-André Blanchard.

One of his predecessors, Paul Heinbecker, said the team is likely working on keeping track of which countries Canada has received a commitment from, which votes it has committed to other countries in exchange for their support, and who has pledged support to its competitors. Compiling these lists and forming strategy to lobby certain countries whose support has not yet been committed is a big part of the job, he said.

Canada is competing for one of two available seats against Ireland and Norway, which Mr. Heinbecker said is strong competition.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) announced Canada’s intention to vie for the coveted seat during a March 2016 visit to the UN headquarters in New York.

“We’re Canadian, and we’re here to help,” the PM told the UN General Assembly in a speech in September.

Mr. Trudeau’s predecessor, Conservative Stephen Harper, was criticized for his perceived disengagement from multilateral fora, including the United Nations. Mr. Harper’s government lost its bid for the Security Council in 2010, the first loss of an election to the UN’s most powerful body in Canadian history.

“The last time around, the backing wasn’t there, it was indifferent,” Mr. Robertson said, referring to Mr. Harper’s unsuccessful bid. Now, he said, “This is a government priority. I know that every visit abroad by a minister, one of the tick boxes is a Security Council seat,” meaning it’s a talking point to pitch to foreign colleagues.

“Working through the UN allows Canada to have greater impact and to amplify our voice by shaping international programs, policies, and practices on a range of issues, from security and development to climate change and human rights,” Ms. Sweet said via email.

She emphasized Canada’s work with the UN and its agencies on human rights, aid, gender equity, respect for diversity, and inclusion.

Some observers blamed the 2010 loss at least in part on Mr. Harper’s strong support for Israel, his stance on climate change, as well as what was seen as disengagement from Africa, including through aid.

The Trudeau government has indicated it wants to pursue a more “balanced” position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Though it has restored funding cut by Mr. Harper to the UN agency providing relief to Palestinian refugees, the Trudeau government has continued the Canadian practice of voting with Israel on sensitive resolutions on the conflict at the UN.

Mr. Trudeau has also sought to emphasize Canada’s ties with Africa, visiting Liberia and Madagascar last fall, though the Liberal government has long delayed announcing where it plans to focus a proposed Canadian peacekeeping mission or missions to Africa. The Trudeau government has also been keen to tout its support for multilateral moves against climate change.

Mr. Robertson said working on the UNSC campaign is like any other posting, and that it’s more than likely those working on it now will be rotated out by the time the election for the seat actually rolls around.


Sajjan Hints at New Money for CAF after meeting with SoD Mattis

The Canadian Press 

OTTAWA — Canada’s defence minister is hinting at new money for the military following a much-anticipated meeting with his U.S. counterpart in Washington this week.

But Harjit Sajjan says what’s equally important is what countries do with their military, a line successive federal governments have used to defend Canada’s paltry defence spending.

The comments come one day after Sajjan sat down with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in Washington, the first such meeting between a Canadian minister and a member of the Trump administration.

Trump has repeatedly blasted NATO allies for not spending enough on their own defence, a message he repeated Monday even as Sajjan was meeting with Mattis.

The Liberal government is currently drawing up a new defence policy that sources say will start inching Canadian defence spending closer to NATO’s target of two per cent of GDP.

But they also say even with the additional funding, Canada will fall far short of that goal.

Canada’s current defence budget of $20 billion accounts for less than one percent of GDP, meaning the government would have to more than double spending to reach NATO’s target.

Sajjan says he and Mattis also discussed Canada’s plan to send peacekeepers to Africa, though he isn’t saying whether the government is closer to deciding on a specific mission.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Canadian Military to Become First to Issue Guidelines on Child Soldiers

The Canadian Press 

The Canadian military is poised to become the first in the world to issue guidelines for dealing with child soldiers, which could be put to the test immediately in Africa.

The guidelines are intended to ensure Canadian troops are properly trained and emotionally prepared for situations involving child soldiers — including where they may have to shoot to kill.

“If a child has a gun pointed at you and they have the intent, they have the capability, and they have the means by which to conduct harm on you or your partners, you have to use force as necessary to neutralize that,” said Cmdr. Rory McLay, who is overseeing development of the guidelines.

“That is a tough reality, but we cannot afford to have our folks harmed because they hesitated.”

The guidelines are also intended to make sure Canadian soldiers deal appropriately with a child soldier who isn’t a threat.

“If you’re talking about detainees, for example, once it’s suspected or proven that the individual is a minor then they are immediately removed from the adult population,” said McLay. “The real push there is separation and rehabilitation. That’s what you want to do with child try to get these kids into a rehabilitated state and back to their families.”

The guidelines were ordered by defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance last March after a meeting with retired senator Romeo Dallaire, who has championed the fight against using children in conflict.

While a variety of rules and policies on how to deal with child soldiers already exist, McLay said the new guidelines will be the first to gather everything into one place for Canadian military personnel.

Vance is expected to sign off on them in the coming days, after which they will be distributed to commanders across the Canadian Armed Forces to be included in training and other mission preparation.

“Training is one of the best ways to mentally prepare them to deal with the sights and sounds that they’re going to encounter,” McLay said.

“So if you can specifically guide the training to deal with a specific issue, you are better preparing your team to react appropriately and to be able to deal with their own actions during and down the road.”

Such direction is timely given the Liberal government is expected to greenlight the deployment of hundreds of Canadian soldiers to Mali in the coming weeks.

The UN and human rights groups say armed groups in Mali have intentionally recruited and are using child soldiers in a number of capacities.

The presence of child soldiers on the battlefield is a potential minefield for militaries like Canada, as the French learned the hard way last month when they came under fire for killing a 10-year-old boy.

While the French military says the boy was acting as a lookout for one armed group suspected of planting improvised-explosive devices, the killing has marred its counter-terrorism mission in Mali.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which Canadian troops are fighting in Iraq, has also made extensive use of child soldiers.

While the British are developing similar guidelines, Shelly Whitman, executive director of the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, said they aren’t as far along as the Canadian military.

Preparing Canadian soldiers for dealing with child soldiers in the field is critical for a number of reasons, Whitman said, which includes ensuring they are properly treated.

But it is also important to consider the impact of child soldiers on the battlefield when planning missions from a legal perspective and in terms of making sure Canadian soldiers don’t hesitate when threatened.

“A lot of soldiers would tell you they didn’t have any preparation for how to handle children in these contexts until they saw it in the battlefield,” she said.

“And that’s where the emotional part of your brain kicks in instead of the cognitive part of your brain. Which means you’ll make decisions based on emotion and not on what’s the best professional decision on that matter.”

Canadian UN Command Position Possibly Lost Due to Delay

The Canadian Press news service reports that Canada may have missed a chance to provide the commanding officer for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali because it wanted to talk first to the Trump administration.

The UN put out requests to a handful of top-tier countries in mid-December as the term of the mission’s previous commander, Danish Maj.-Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, was coming to an end, the news service pointed out.

Sources told the Canadian Press the Liberal government asked the UN to hold off on a decision until after the government had a chance to consult the new American administration on Canada’s future peacekeeping plans.

It is believed that the U.S. military and Defense Secretary James Mattis outlined America’s top priorities to Sajjan and Vance on Monday and the Liberal government might adjust its defence policy accordingly, say sources.

SoD Mattis Admits Soft-Spot for Canadian Troops

By: Alexander Panetta, The National Post 

WASHINGTON — A first meeting between Donald Trump’s defence secretary and his Canadian counterpart began well on Monday — so well that, within just a few seconds, there was already talk of kissing and hugging.

Newly sworn-in U.S. defence secretary James Mattis says he’s so grateful for Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan he could have smooched them on sight.

At a meeting at the Pentagon, the retired general — nicknamed “Mad Dog” — said there’s a reason his first phone call to a foreign counterpart was to Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. The U.S. and Canadian military have been close allies since the Second World War, he said, and he experienced that bond personally in Afghanistan.

He noted that his own unit in Kandahar was relieved by Canadian soldiers from Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

“They were a welcome sight,” Mattis said as the meeting with Sajjan began.

“There was, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in those days,” he said, referring to the now-discarded U.S. policy on gays and lesbians in the military.

“(But) I was hugging and kissing every one of you guys coming off the plane.”

He said the lives lost in the Afghan conflict have created a permanent bond between the countries. He also applauded Canada’s humanitarian efforts: “Your pledge to do a lot of leadership, whether it be in humanitarian ops, in battle groups, in reassurance efforts, we’re proud as all get-out of you and your forces and what they’ve stood up and delivered.”

The message from Mattis was striking in its difference from that of his boss. At a separate event Monday, the president said he expects allies to start doing their fair share and spending more on their military.

Canada spends less on its military as a share of its economy than almost any member of NATO.

Sajjan was at the Pentagon for what was scheduled to be a 45-minute discussion on a broad range of topics including military co-operation both abroad and closer to home. Key questions were expected to include the ongoing commitment to NATO, defence spending levels, and peacekeeping operations.

I was hugging and kissing every one of you guys.

The Canadian government delayed a planned peacekeeping deployment to Africa following the U.S. election, saying it wanted to first discuss a variety of global issues with its closest ally.

Trump’s election has prompted uncertainty on several military fronts — he has suggested NATO is becoming obsolete, while at the same time demanding that NATO allies increase defence spending.

He repeated his complaints about NATO spending during a speech Monday at an air force base in Florida.

Trump said he supports NATO, but countries must pay their share.

“We only ask that all of the NATO members make their full and proper financial contributions to the NATO alliance, which many of them have not been doing,” he said.

Trump has also been more supportive than his predecessor of Russia, which has caused anxiety in Eastern Europe.

Trump has sowed uncertainty on several defence issues. He’s complained about the cost of the F-35, a staple of the U.S. fighter-jet program. Also, in his inauguration speech Trump heaped scorn on the U.S. habit of defending other countries.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesU.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Canadian Minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan shake hands prior to a meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, Feb, 6, 2017.
Mattis spent last weekend in Asia, reassuring traditional U.S. allies. During the campaign, the president questioned why the U.S. should spend money securing Japan and South Korea — he went as far as to suggest, at one point, that they should get their own nuclear weapons.

Trump later dialled that back. But he said he wants allies spending more on defence. That was also the policy of the previous Obama administration and the former president even made that request in Canada’s Parliament.

It’s unclear where that conversation goes now.

Canada is 23rd among 27 NATO countries in terms of spending as a share of GDP. Canada’s 2016 spending of 0.99 per cent of GDP was less than half the NATO guideline of two per cent, which only five NATO countries currently meet.

One Canadian-American military analyst said it’s important to watch what Mattis says, while remembering he’s not the boss: “(There’s) the caveat of: I don’t believe anything that Mattis says binds this administration,” said Steve Saideman of Carleton University.

“Mattis is in the outer circle — and has been bypassed on major issues.”

Sajjan's Statement Following Meeting with SoD Mattis

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today issued the following readout after his first meeting with new U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis:

"Today I had the pleasure of meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis. The warm, cordial tone of the discussion reflects the long-standing, close partnership between Canada and the United States, particularly when it comes to defence and security. "The close defence relationship between our two nations provides both countries with greater security in North America and contributes to peace and stability in the world in increasingly complex and uncertain times.

"With 2018 marking the 60th anniversary of NORAD, I was pleased to highlight the importance of this unique partnership and its success in protecting North America, and we looked forward to working together on its modernization. Secretary Mattis and I also discussed multilateral issues, including our pledges to lead battle groups in support of NATO's enhanced forward presence in Eastern Europe, our commitments to the United Nations and the Summit of Defence Ministers that Canada will host later this year. We discussed our training missions in both Ukraine and Iraq and the work being done by the Global Coalition to degrade and defeat Daesh. I also took the opportunity to discuss Canada's Defence Policy Review.

"We discussed Canada’s decision to launch an open and transparent competition to replace our legacy fleet of CF-18 fighter aircraft, and to explore the immediate acquisition of 18 new Super Hornet fighter aircraft as an interim capability. I expressed my appreciation to the secretary for the support and cooperation of the US Government in these processes.

"Secretary Mattis and I pledged to work closely together and look forward to our next meeting at the upcoming NATO defence ministerial later this month. "I want to thank Secretary Mattis and Pentagon officials for the warm welcome in Washington and look forward to hosting Secretary Mattis in Canada."

F-35 Dominates At Red Flag With 15:1 Kill Rate

Lara Seligman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report - Aviation Week 

The U.S. Air Force’s F-35A made its debut at the toughest Red Flag yet, and not only dominated the air space but made the legacy aircraft in the force package even deadlier, according to pilots.

The F-35’s participation in the Air Force’s capstone training event at Nellis AFB, Nevada, which is known as one of the world’s most realistic and challenging air-to-air combat exercises, marked a crucial test for the fifth-generation fighter. This year, pilots went up against the most aggressive threat laydown ever seen at a Red Flag: more surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), more jamming, and more red air, said Lt. Col. George Watkins, 34th Fighter Squadron commander.
The exercise began Jan. 23 and will continue until Feb. 10.

Despite the stepped up threat, pilots lost only one F-35 to every 15 aggressors killed in action—an impressive kill ratio for an aircraft that is not designed as an air-to-air fighter.
Where before an F-16 would not even see the advanced threat on the battlespace—the blue forces would take them out ahead of time with standoff weapons—now with the F-35 added to the mix, pilots can detect and pinpoint multiple threats at once, Watkins said.

Faced with three or four different advanced SAMs in one scenario, F-35 pilots gather and fuse data from a multitude of sources. Then the stealthy aircraft slips undetected within range and takes out the threat. If the F-35 runs out of munitions, F-22 and fourth-generation pilots still want the aircraft to stay in the vicinity, vacuuming up targeting information and transferring it to the rest of the force.
“Before where we would have one advanced threat and we would put everything we had—F-16s, F-15s, F-18s, missiles, we would shoot everything we had at that one threat just to take it out—now we are seeing three or four of those threats at a time,” Watkins said. “Just between [the F-35] and the [F-22] Raptor we are able to geo-locate them, precision-target them, and then we are able to bring the fourth-generation assets in behind us after those threats are neutralized. It’s a whole different world out there for us now.”

The F-35 and the air superiority F-22, in particular, make a deadly team, the pilots said.
“When you pair the F-22and the F-35 like together with the fourth-generation strikers behind us, we’re really able to dominate the air space over the Nellis test and training range,” Watkins said.

As of Feb. 3, 13 F-35s from Hill AFB, Utah, had flown 126 missions and only lost three or four aircraft. They had not lost a single sortie to maintenance. Although there have been issues with the F-35’s 3i software load—the aircraft’s systems occasionally shut down and need to be rebooted and there were also problems with clutter and repeating targets—none of the aircraft at Red Flag have experienced any system failures. That is a huge improvement over the F-16s, Watkins said.

“It’s been pretty eye-watering here for me to go out every day and have every single mission system operating,” Watkins said. “Tie that sensor fusion and that situational awareness with the survivability of the platform [and] it’s really a game-changer.”

Monday, February 6, 2017

Canadian Defence Spending Must Grow Significantly

By Tony Battista and Dr. David McDonough, OnTrack Magazine (Vol 21, No. 2) Originally published by The CDA Institute 

The Canadian government triggered some controversy with its most recent defence policy announcement – that it now plans to delay the open competition for the CF-18 replacement by five years, and instead opt to procure an interim fleet of 18 Super Hornets as a stopgap measure to fill what it says is a capability gap.

The subsequent news stories following this announcement have only raised further questions. It now appears this capability gap only arose following a policy shift in the government’s approach (and increase) in commitments, especially to its NATO and NORAD commitments. Without further information on the rationale, it is difficult to make any definite assessment about this decision.

Clearly, it is the government’s prerogative to set policy, although the timing of it, when the government was trying to justify a plan for interim Super Hornets, is certainly curious. One must then ask about the extent to which subject matter experts were consulted on this decision, and whether such a decision should more properly be part of the Defence Policy Review (DPR) – and the value of the DPR when such key decisions are taken outside of it?

Another equally troubling story is that the government has forced over 200 civil servants involved in the CF-18 replacement project to sign lifetime non-disclosure agreements. Given that there are already existing stringent measures to protect classified government information, such a draconian measure is certainly at odds over the government’s stated position on transparency and openness, and raises questions about the underlying intent of such a policy. Is it really only about protecting sensitive information or trade secrets? Or is it simply a way to prevent officials from criticizing the government’s handling of this file after they leave office?

Of course, much remains unknown about how the government will ultimately proceed with its plan. What fighter aircraft will realistically be available to compete in the CF-18 replacement competition in five years’ time? With the exception of the F-35, most of the other possible aircraft will already be at their mid-life point by that time. And will the US government even agree to sell interim Super Hornets? Lest it be forgotten, Lockheed Martin remains the single largest contractor for the American government, and there is little doubt that Washington has a vested interest in the future of the F-35 – and much less so with the Super Hornet, which is becoming a legacy aircraft for them.

Yet the most worrisome aspects of this decision is on the question of cost. How much will it cost to purchase an interim Super Hornet fleet? What is the additional cost of operating a mixed fleet? A possible answer to the former can be seen in Australia’s purchase of 24 Super Hornets for 6.1-billion (Australian $). A roughly similar amount could be expected. On the latter, it will undoubtedly be an expensive proposition – as noted in a Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) report that has (coincidentally?) disappeared from the DND/DRDC website.

And is the interim Super Hornet fleet to be a permanent fixture of the RCAF force structure? Or is it merely a bridging fleet that will be retired soon after the permanent CF-18 replacement are delivered? Of note, Australia had planned for a bridging fleet with its own Super Hornet purchase, which quickly emerged as a permanent mixed arrangement, with all its attendant additional costs. Then there is the matter of what is the requisite size our fighter fleet in light of the government’s increased commitments to NORAD and NATO – and whether the permanent CF-18 replacement will take that number into consideration?

Is Canada’s defence budget large enough to handle the governments reported and impending defence decisions? What conclusions can be made from the many procurements, as well as current and emerging military commitments (procurement of an interim fleet of fighter aircraft, a major building of new naval ships, increasing the CAF operational tempo with new deployments to Latvia and to a still unknown locale in Africa (possibly Mali), current anti-ISIL mission in the Mideast, and likely more money for recruiting, training, education, readiness, retention and transition)?

Moreover, what will the budgetary situation be like in five years, when Canada expects to choose a permanent CF-18 replacement fleet? Then, it will have to address other competing spending priorities in other areas of security and defence, but also on social programs, health, dealing with the effects of climate change and its challenges on the environment, a direr financial situation for many western countries, and social upheaval (extremism, nationalism, protectionism, etc), not to mention the resurgence of China and Russia?

As the PBO and others have pointed out, the existing budget is simply too small for the existing force structure. And the government has shown little interest in decreasing either personnel numbers or basing infrastructure to make things more manageable. Indeed, as its decision on the interim Super Hornets seems to indicate, it may have set itself on the road to acquiring more fighter aircraft than even its predecessor. That is not necessarily a bad outcome, and may indeed be a silver lining of sorts – as having more aircraft will allow the CAF greater flexibility in terms of readiness and operational deployments. But much depends on whether there will be sufficient funds to allow for such growth.

It seems clear: The Defence Budget Has to Go Up! Canada’s defence budget needs to grow starting with this next Federal Budget. As the recent Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence report on UN peacekeeping notes, the government needs to “ensure adequate funding is available to meet the operational priorities of the Canadian Armed Forces” – and this is as true with the government’s plan for peace support missions as it is with national priorities and commitments to NORAD and NATO.

And the window of opportunity for such growth may be limited. After all, the government plans on running deficits, but will likely need to start curtailing spending prior to the next election in three years. Otherwise, what will likely grow is a substantive commitment-capability gap, leaving behind an unpalatable central legacy of the current government with both a large deficit and an ill-equipped Canadian Armed Forces.

 As a result, the next budget in 2017 may be the most feasible opportunity for the government to increase the baseline of the defence budget – and to put National Defence in a better position to deal with the expected military requirements of the foreseeable future. It also coincides with the arrival of the Trump administration in the United States, which many expect will make burden-sharing a centrepiece of its engagement with key allies.

A decision by the Trudeau government to increase defence spending starting with the next Federal Budget could go a long way to establish its credibility when it comes to security and defence policies, to look after Canada’s short and long-term security and defence needs, and to reassuring our American ally on this issue.
Tony Battista is the Chief Executive Officer of the CDA and CDA Institute. 

Dr. David McDonough is Research Manager and Senior Editor at the Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDA Institute), and a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Security and Development (formerly CFPS) at Dalhousie University.  

What President Trump Might Mean for Canadian Defence Policy

By Vincent J. Curtis, Espris de Corps Magazine (Vol. 23, No. 11) 

With the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States, the world can expect a large recapitalization of the U.S. military over the next four to eight years. We can also expect the Trump administration to pressure NATO allies to increase their defence expenditures to two per cent of their GDP (gross domestic product).

Trump famously campaigned on the theme that the United States was not going to carry a heavier share of the defence burden of the western world than was justified by economics. If NATO allies expected the assistance of the United States, then they needed to do their part. Some of that pressure will undoubtedly be applied to Canada, for Canada is one of those not spending up to the agreed level of two per cent of our GDP.

What does this mean for Canadian defence?

In the first place, it would mean that the Canadian defence budget would have to increase to be in the range of CDN $48-billion. The budget track released by the Trudeau government in its maiden budget forecast revealed a decrease in defence expenditures — the amount projected for 2016 was $29.4-billion with a decrease to $14.4-billion by 2020–2021. In the eyes of Trump, we are moving in the wrong direction.

Yes, defence is one of many competing priorities for federal tax expenditures, but national defence and maintaining good relations with allies is among the most fundamental of priorities of any national government. Those priorities have a higher call for money than new spending to make life more comfortable for a minority of Canadians. The needs of all take priority over the needs of the few.

What use could be made of additional defence expenditures?

There is no question that the Canadian Armed Forces are in need of recapitalization. The Royal Canadian Navy needs to be completely rebuilt, and soon. The fighting capacity of the Royal Canadian Air Force is aging rapidly, and the replacement for the CF-18 fleet is late and nowhere in sight. The Canadian Army could also use a new store of capital equipment for general-purpose combat operations.

The government is dithering over whether it should acquire 10 or 12 frigates to refight the Battle of the Atlantic, should it ever come back. The naval brass is still in the grip of the old-school small ship navy mentality that has dominated Canadian naval thinking since the days of the Niobe and the Rainbow. The RCN brass need to have in their top drawer a plan for a real battle fleet — a fleet consisting not just of frigates but of one or more battlecruisers as well. And if battlecruisers seem to be too war-like for political tastes, then missile-cruisers in the 10,000-ton range can be had off-the-shelf from the United States at $2-billion apiece, less than the cost of a 5,000-ton custom-built frigate. Anyhow, a capitalization project for the Navy in the range of $40-billion should be ready to go.

The RCAF is caught between the failure of Lockheed Martin to deliver a viable F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in a timely and cost-efficient manner, and a new government that wants to start the bidding process for a CF-18 replacement aircraft from scratch. The solutions are easy: buy off-the-shelf F-16s, or the updated F/A-18E/F Super Hornet off the shelf, both of which are also still in production. These are Gen 4.5 fighters, not Gen 5 fighters, but they can be had soon; they are still current and viable for modern combat air operations, and should be seen as an interim purchase until the Gen 5 fighters are finally available.

The Army could also use a store of useful equipment, in particular modern artillery. The M-777 proved spectacular in Afghanistan, and no army has been able to succeed in modern combat operations in the absence of dominant artillery since the 17th century’s Thirty Years’ War.

The problem of joint operations between air and surface has and will continue to bedevil CAF combat operations. If it flies, it is said to belong to the RCAF. But what about rotary aviation? What about a naval aircraft carrier? The United Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal regions ranged from 77 to 92 per cent.

Although PRTs were once described as the militarization of aid, some of these areas are just too dangerous for aid workers. In South Sudan, peacekeepers ignored the rape and assault of aid workers in the country. The adoption of a UN PRT model would allow aid workers to operate more freely in the country. It would also allow more positive interaction between the indigenous population and UN peacekeepers. The interaction with aid organizations and the local population will foster trust and, in turn, hopefully, generate useful, operational intelligence.

PRTs involved a level of Civil-Military Co-Operation (CIMIC) and that level and overall approach can vary depending on the model. There are four generic PRT models: American, German, British(-Nordic) and Turkish. These four generic models can be then divided into many sub categories that vary depending on which nation implemented the model in Afghanistan. A PRT model can be adapted to suit the requirements of a UN peacekeeping mission. Moreover, a UN PRT model in Mali may not work for South Sudan or Somalia and therefore a PRT model will need to be drafted to meet the requirements of each individual theatre.

The Trudeau government is weighing its options and conducting fact-finding missions to pinpoint the one mission that has the least of political consequences. The last thing the Trudeau government and the Canadian Armed Forces need is another Somalia incident. Since our withdrawal, UN peacekeeping missions have been blighted with accusations of rape and the solicitation of sexual relations with prostitutes and even trading weapons for gold.

Canada’s re-engagement with peacekeeping will offer its own unique challenges. Peacekeepers are regularly fired upon and that alone will create a political fervor in Canada. Our re-engagement will take political fortitude, but if the Trudeau government really desires for Canada to take international leadership, we must drive the evolution of UN peacekeeping.

Defence minister Harjit Sajjan to meet U.S. counterpart Monday

By: Bruce  Campion-Smith, Toronto Star 

OTTAWA—Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will travel to Washington Monday to meet with U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, the first face-to-face meeting between top officials in the Liberal government and the new Trump administration.

Sajjan will be joined by Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff, for the meeting at the Pentagon with Mattis and Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice-chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff.

The two nations’ joint interests in the NATO and NORAD military alliances and the ongoing mission to defeat Daesh extremists will likely top the agenda for their discussion, Sajjan spokesperson Jordan Owens told the Star.

She couldn’t say if Canada’s plans for a military peace mission in Africa — reportedly on hold as Ottawa takes stock of the priorities of the new U.S. administration — would also be discussed.

“It’s certainly one of our government’s priorities so it could come up,” Owens said.

Following the formal meeting, Mattis and Sajjan, both former military officers, are expected to have dinner together.

Work continues behind the scenes for a meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump, a session that White House spokesperson Sean Spicer suggested Friday would happen in Washington, rather than Ottawa.

“I know that they’re looking at a time to come down . . . I think that will be a meeting that is set up very shortly,” Spicer told reporters during a White House briefing.

In a telephone conversation Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson talked trade and cross-border traffic.

The two politicians “underlined the importance of the Canada-U.S. bilateral relationship, including mutually beneficial trade and economic ties,” according to a statement from Freeland’s office.

They also “highlighted” progress of recent pre-clearance measures, “as well as the need for a safe and secure border that does not impede the smooth flow of goods and people,” the statement said.

Tillerson and Freeland agreed to meet “as soon as possible.”

Just a few weeks into his term, Trump is already having an impact on Canada-U.S. relations on issues such as energy policy, cross-border travel and his vow to quickly renegotiate NAFTA.

In the Commons Friday, Conservative MP Candice Bergen (Portage-Lisgar) pressed the Liberals to abandon their plan for a carbon tax “to adjust to the new reality in the United States.”

“The United States, under the new administration, is cutting taxes, decreasing regulations. They are committed to no carbon tax,” Bergen said in question period.

“Things have changed in Canada, in North America. Is the government able to pivot . . . ?”

Canadian officials spent much of the week scrambling to react to the fallout from Trump’s executive order imposing a 90-day travel ban on residents of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya entering the United States. There were concerns that Canadians with dual citizenships from one of the affected nations could also get held up at the U.S. border.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale repeated assurances Friday that dual citizen Canadians should be OK, despite reports that several Canadians holding Nexus trusted-traveller cards had their cards revoked.

In the diplomatic dance of not wanting to upset the Trump administration in these early days, Conservative MP Michele Rempel said the Liberal government has “stumbled in tone” and not been vigorous enough.

“That doesn’t mean that we can’t . . . continue to have a very positive working relationship with one of our biggest allies and trading partners. It simply means that the government needs to be more transparent and more vocal in its effort to protect Canadian interests,” Rempel told reporters.

But Liberal MP Andrew Leslie, the newly appointed parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs with special responsibilities for the Canada-U.S. relationship, counselled patience.

“The whole idea of standing firm on our values, by all means, but working co-operatively with our biggest friend, largest trading partner is perhaps the wisest approach,” Leslie, a retired lieutenant-general in the Canadian Armed Forces, told reporters earlier in the week.

“I think all of us have to stay calm and carry on.”
With files from Daniel Dale

Warship Project At Risk as Shipbuilders Threaten to Withdraw from Bidding

By: David Pugliese, The National Post 

Canada’s multibillion-dollar project to buy a replacement for its frigates is so poorly structured that Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, has warned the Liberal government it won’t bid unless changes are made.

A number of other ship designers are also considering backing out because of the problems plaguing the project to spend more than $26 billion on a new fleet of Canadian Surface Combatants.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri sent Procurement Minister Judy Foote a detailed outline of why the acquisition process is in trouble, warning that, “Canada is exposed to unnecessary cost uncertainty,” according to the Oct. 24, 2016, letter obtained by Postmedia.

There is also a belief in industry circles that the federal government is favouring a design from the British firm BAE, which is offering the Royal Canadian Navy the Type 26 warship.

Foote had previously said only proven warship designs would be considered to reduce the risk of problems. But the Liberal government retreated on that and will now accept a Type 26 bid, even though the vessel has not been built yet, which is causing other shipbuilders to reconsider their bids.

Preparing a bid for the Canadian Surface Combatant or CSC will cost companies between $10 million and $20 million. If they see their chances of winning a contract as slim, firms could decide not to enter the competition, further narrowing the choices for the Liberals on a new vessel for the navy.

The government announced Oct. 27, 2016, that Irving Shipbuilding, its prime contractor, had issued a request for bids from companies on the design of the new ships.

The firms have until April 27 to provide those bids, which must not only include the design but details of teaming arrangements with Canadian firms.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc.A keel unit of an Arctic Patrol Ship is lowered into place at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard in an undated photo.
In its letter to Foote, Fincantieri pointed out that the current structure of the procurement limits the role of the warship designers to simply providing engineering and design services to Irving, which will then build the vessels. In return for that small role, the companies are being asked to provide valuable intellectual property to their designs, access to their established supply chains and transfer technology to Irving and Canada.

In addition, the warship designers have to provide a warranty on the integration of technology into their designs, even though they are not responsible for buying that equipment.

The project as it is structured now leaves little incentive for warship designers and builders such as Fincantieri, which has designed and constructed ships for the navies of Italy, the United Arab Emirates, India, Iraq, Malta and Malaysia.

“If the current proposed procurement approach is retained, then it will be very difficult for Fincantieri to obtain approval to bid from its board,” the company warned Foote.

Fincantieri declined to comment on the letter.

Fincantieri instead proposed to Foote that a fixed-price competition be held, with the winning shipyard building the first three warships, complete with Canadian systems, and delivering those to Irving. The ships would then be run through evaluations and after any technical issues were worked out, Irving would begin to build the remaining 12 vessels.

That way work on the new ships could get underway faster, the vessels will be fully tested, and the risk to the Canadian taxpayer significantly reduced. The “winning team can be held accountable for the overall performance of the finished ship,” Fincantieri added.

“Companies are also given incentive to make long-term investment in Canada because they can expect to get a fair return from the greater value of their work responsibility,” Foote was told.

The minister responded by suggesting Fincantieri approach Irving with its concerns. Foote’s response further worried the Italian shipbuilder as it had believed the Canadian government and its ministers were ultimately responsible for the program and the spending of billions of tax dollars.

Irving Shipbuilding’s $26-billion warship procurement deal under review, senior source says
Irving accused of conflict as it teams with company bidding on Canada’s multibillion-dollar warship program

Foote’s spokeswoman Annie Trépanier did not comment specifically on Fincantieri’s letter but repeated previous government comments about how industry was consulted extensively and those shaped the final documentation used to solicit bids. An independent fairness monitor is also involved in the process, she added.

Irving spokesman Sean Lewis said the contract for the CSC design will be awarded to an existing warship design that best fits the requirements of Canada’s navy. “I can assure you that the procurement process is being conducted in a way that ensures that all bidders are treated equally, with no unfair advantage given to any individual bidder, and under observation of an independent fairness monitor,” he added.

The surface combatants will be the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy’s future fleet. The project has seen repeated delays, with the navy at one time expecting the ships by 2015. The first vessel is now planned for sometime in the early 2020s.

Initial cost estimates for the project were set at $26 billion. But that could potentially rise to more than $40 billion, depending on the number of ships constructed.

CAF Begins to Scale Back New Brunswick ice-storm assistance

By: Dabid Pugliese, Defence Watch 

The Canadian military says it is continuing to provide assistance to New Brunswick’s relief efforts in some of the hardest hit parts of the Acadian Peninsula from the recent storm but it will begin to draw-down the military presence in those areas where the province has announced remaining relief efforts are within provincial and municipal capabilities. The remaining military members will be gradually returned to home units as conditions improve in these remaining communities, it added in a news release.

On January 27, the Province of New Brunswick first requested military assistance to conduct a reconnaissance to determine how the Canadian Forces could support relief efforts. The first troops arrived within 24 hours, the military noted in its release.

In a second request for assistance on January 29, the Province of New Brunswick requested federal government assistance in the form of military personnel and assets to conduct a variety of tasks, including delivering emergency supplies, assisting in re-establishing existing road networks, and supporting door-to-door residential wellbeing checks in the northeast of the province.

Here are more details from the news release:

More than 200 CAF members from 5 Canadian Division Support Base (Gagetown) including 4 Artillery Regiment General Support and 4 Engineering Support Regiment, and 37 Canadian Brigade Group (Moncton) deployed to support the Province of New Brunswick response efforts.

A CP-140 Aurora Maritime Patrol Aircraft based at 14 Wing Greenwood conducted an overflight to map and determine the extent of damage to infrastructure in the area. A CH-146 Griffon based at 403 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Gagetown was used primarily for air transport.

In total, the CAF conducted over 5,400 door-to-door checks, assisted the Province in distributing generators, fuel, firewood and water, and surveyed more than 1,100 km of roads.