Hits and Misses for November 24

feds open wallet for military mental health

The Canadian government announced on Sunday that it has set aside $200 million over the next six years to invest in military mental health and support for families and veterans. Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino told a crowd in Halifax that "some of the money will fund completely digitizing the health records of all serving personnel, investing in brain imaging technology and extending access to Military Family Resource Centres," according to the Canadian Press.

To read more about the announcement, follow this link.


Canadian vigilantes looking to fight ISIS should put their passports down, apply for CF: Lawson

You won't find Chief of Defence Staff Tom Lawson taking part in the back-slapping and applauding of Canadian volunteers heading abroad to help fight ISIS. Speaking to media on the subject, Gen. Lawson encouraged vigilantes to enlist or re-enlist with the Canadian Forces if they want to fight for Canadian values and freedoms. He told CBC: “I don’t encourage Canadians to leave our nation and head to other nations to get involved with the militaries of that nation."

A member of the Canadian Armed Forces reinforces concertina wire around the Canadian camp during Operation IMPACT on November 14, 2014 in Kuwait. Photo: Operation IMPACT, DND

A member of the Canadian Armed Forces reinforces concertina wire around the Canadian camp during Operation IMPACT on November 14, 2014 in Kuwait. Photo: Operation IMPACT, DND

Soldier killed in technical on-base accident mourned

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the friends and family of CF Craftsman Kyle Sinclair, who was killed while working on a Coyote light-armoured vehicle last week at Garrison Petawawa. Several more details about the tragic incident emerged over the weekend; reports say a seat lever was accidentally released, striking Sinclair in the head and causing severe damage. Colleagues provided first aid at the scene before he was taken to the hospital.

“There are no words to describe a loss as tragic as this,” said Sinclair’s commanding officer, Lt.-Col. Carla Harding, in a statement on Sunday evening. “He was a talented soldier and technician who joined to serve our country and was exceptionally proud of what he did.”

Hits and Misses for November 21

A former Canadian solider has decided to head to Iraq to fight ISIS with the Peshmerga — and a Canadian organization helped get him there. The 1st Canadian Expeditionary Force helps with the cost of a soldier's kit (before joining the Peshmerga, people must buy their own gear), and facilitates getting Canadian fighters safely to Peshmerga forces. Once fighters arrive in Iraq, they can buy a machine gun for 3-4k. Read more here.

What do you get when news breaks that Veterans Affairs Canada has returned $1.13 billion to the federal treasury in unspent funds? We don't need to tell you, but read more here.

Admiral Norman is a good guy, he just doesn't have a lot to work with these days. For the foreseeable future, it looks as though the RCN will be looking to cooperate a lot more than usual. Read more here.

Lockheed and Boeing will not be getting much from the Canadian government this Christmas . Canada is going to keep it's CF-18s flying, for now, via a modernization program. Read more here.

Navy Capt. Paul Forget isn't going to tell journalists that no civilians were killed in recent airstrikes. In fact, with no eyes on the ground, he has no idea. Read more here. 

Hits and Misses for November 19

Now that the Protecteur has seen her last days of service, the RCN no longer has any supply ships within its fleet. How long will it take to deliver them a replacement, and what kind of ship will it be? Read more here.

Canadian fighter jets used precision-guided bombs to take out an ISIS warehouse. Reports indicate that the warehouse was being used to make explosives and to train ISIS radicals. Read more here.

Aircraft such as this CC-130 could be used to launch and recover large UAVs from the sky. Read more here.

The U.S. Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments argues that the United States needs to become more offensive, adding lasers and electromagnetic rail guns to existing weaponry. Read more here.

Minister Baird speaks to the NATO Council of Canada Conference on Ukraine

"Unfortunately, the virtues of free societies can be exploited by those Machiavellian enough to do so." Read his speech here.

Hits and Misses Daily for Nov. 17

ING Robotic Aviation photo

ING Robotic Aviation photo

ING Robotic Aviation officially opened its Ottawa office today, with Industry Minister James Moore present to officially throw open the doors of the facility. The company is a Canadian leader in robotic aircraft solutions. According to the press release, "Industry Canada, through The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) provides significant support for the development of ING Robotic Aviation’s robotic aircraft systems."

The rest of the press release can be found below. To check out the company's website, visit http://ingrobotic.com/

From its start in the military sector, the company is developing technology, creating high-tech jobs, and exports because of its clear focus on the emerging opportunities for the provision of new services and products in the commercial sector globally.

The new space repurposes traditional suburban commercial facilities to produce a creative, integrated working environment which combines sales, marketing, operations production and R&D into a cohesive whole that can both inform and respond to customer requirements.

“We are excited to officially open our new facility in Ottawa,” states ING Robotic Aviation’s CEO, Ian Glenn. “This gives a focal point for our production and operations as well as a home for the back room functions.  What it represents is the further development of a home-grown high-tech company that is already developing technology, creating jobs and exporting products.  This is another step in our move into the commercial market."

“Our Government’s top priority is creating jobs and opportunities in our communities. That’s why we have steadily increased direct support for research and development to help Canadian companies commercialize their innovative product throughout the planet.” stated Hon James Moore.

Today, ING Robotic Aviation provides products and services for rapid, robust aerial mapping, inspections, and monitoring. The company continues to get the right information, into the right hands, at the right time, while also discovering whole new uses for robotic aviation. The company and the sector is at the leading edge of development of new high-tech jobs and exports, as well as providing highly effective services to Canadian industry.

Pakistan is tired of being seen by Canada only as a neighbour to troublesome, security-risk Afghanistan. The Pakistani High Commissioner, Abrar Hashmi, told the Ottawa Citizen in a sit down interview that the country is looking to reinvent bilateral relations to remind the Canadian government that it is much more than just a neighbour to the country where the West spent a decade-long war.

According to the article, the Mr. Hashmi said, “There are a lot of opportunities. Now that Canada is out from an active combat role in Afghanistan … we have to bring this relationship to full strength. There’s a huge potential of co-operation.”

Pakistan is looking for parliamentary exchanges, enhanced economic and commercial links, deeper cultural ties to the 300,000-strong Pakistani-Canadian community and more co-operation on such things as immigration and defence, Hashmi said.

In particular, there are three areas in which Canada has knowledge it can share with Pakistan, he said. One is the mining sector, another is education and the third is energy.

To read the full article, and to watch the video of the Citizen's interview with the high commissioner, follow this link.

An aerial photo of the Dahla Dam in Afghanistan. Canadian Forces combat camera photo.

An aerial photo of the Dahla Dam in Afghanistan. Canadian Forces combat camera photo.

A new report written on the Dahla Dam—Canada's 'signature' project in Afghanistan—has indicated that if reliable, annual funds to support the dam dry up, any progress the dam has made for local farmers and communities will also evaporate.

The report, a final assessment of the project, was submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development, and was obtained by Stephanie Levitz from the Canadian Press.

“From a practical perspective, unless funding is made available on an annual basis, over time the physical irrigation infrastructure will slowly deteriorate and the area under irrigation will decrease,” said the report.

More from the Canadian Press article:

"As the Afghan government struggles with budget shortfalls in the face of declining international aid, the financial future of the irrigation project is unclear, except for one thing: no more money is coming from Canada.

"With the report, the government has washed its hands of what the Conservatives had hoped would be a Canadian legacy in Afghanistan, but what the report suggests was a great deal of effort and expense for very mixed results.

"The $50-million program was launched in 2008 after a blue-collar panel suggested Canada focus its multibillion-dollar development efforts in Kandahar on specific “signature projects.”

"The program — officially called the Arghandab Irrigation Rehabilitation Project — focused on fixing the main canal and some 60 secondary canals supplying farm fields with water from the reservoir of the Dahla Dam."

Read the full article here.

Hits and Misses Daily for November 13, 2014

Watching the CBC broadcast of the Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, a few veterans and soldiers noticed something just wasn't right as "sergeant" Franck Gervais appeared on the nationally broadcast screen. The problem: Gervais is not and has never been a member of the Canadian Forces and certainly did not earn the medals adorning his uniform. While he would have looked convincing to civilian eyes and probably gone on to continue this fraudulent activity, his appearance on a national broadcast tipped off CAF members who noticed incongruities with his uniform. Impersonating a CAF member is a criminal offense, so Gervais will likely face charges. What's more? We later learned that Gervais wore the same decorated military uniform on his wedding day. Read the complete CBC article here.

Yesterday, sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers was recognized by members of parliament in Israel for his brave efforts in stopping the gunman in the Ottawa shootings on Oct. 22, 2014. He was in Tel Aviv for a long-planned security conference and made a stop at the parliamentary chamber, where he and the rest of the Canadian delegation were welcomed by members of parliament. He also met with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was quoted saying: "This terror attack in Ottawa proves, once again, that Islamic radical terrorism has no limits and respects no borders. Israel and Canada stand side-by-side in the international effort to eliminate terrorism." Read the complete CBC article here.

Some veterans are outraged by new additions on the National War Memorial in Ottawa, which now includes the dates of the Afghanistan and South African wars. The Royal Canadian Legion specifically is against singling out specific conflicts and believes the monument is meant to honour all military personnel who have sacrificed their lives at home and abroad. Read the Toronto Star article here.

With the help of U.S. aid drops and airstrikes, combined with reinforcement from the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga and some Free Syrian Army rebels, Kurdish defenders in Kobane are reportedly pushing back against ISIS insurgents who have already gained control in half of the city.  Read the Telegraph article here. 

Canada's joint task force commander in Iraq, Daniel Constable, provided an update this morning on the fight against ISIS in Iraq. A video which shows an airstrike carried out on Nov. 11 was released at the same time. The airstrike is one of only two that the Canadian Forces have carried out in the 68 sorties they have flown since arriving in Kuwait on Oct.30. Constable says ISIS is changing their tactics and are likely hiding artillery in buildings or burying them in the sand to camouflage their whereabouts. Read the full CBC article here.

Hits and Misses Daily for Nov. 12

A window into Iraq

The Associated Press in Iraq describes the scene where, on Sept. 21, militants stormed an Iraqi army base in the western province of Anbar dressed as Iraqi soldiers. The troops, which were allegedly "vulnerable" and "unprepared" were forced to flee from the slaughter. At least 40 were not lucky enough to escape for their lives, and 68 were reportedly taken prisoner. To read the full story of this defeat, and what it means for western countries who are tasked with providing on-the-ground training, check out David Pugliese's post.

photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, USAF

photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, USAF

Iraqi Military gets a makeover

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has made the first major changes to the country's military since he came into office three months ago. The military, which is working on the ground to combat ISIS, saw several dozen officers forcibly retired, and 18 new commanders appointed. The changes were made to "improve our military performance," according to a statement by the PM. But insiders who have so far remain unnamed say that the shakeup was the result of a month-long probe into military corruption. Read More Here.

U.S. Department of Defense photo

U.S. Department of Defense photo


Russia bolsters bomber patrol to Cold War levels

As a result of increased tensions with the West over Ukraine, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced today that Russia would be expanding the areas it regularly patrols to include the Arctic Ocean, the western Atlantic, eastern Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico—a level of patrol that hasn't been seen since Cold War times.

To read more about the ramping-up of Russian military activities, check out The Toronto Star's coverage.

Hits and Misses Daily for November 11


The National War Memorial on May 21, 1939. The artist, Vernon March, died before its completion.

The National War Memorial on May 21, 1939. The artist, Vernon March, died before its completion.

A Canadian teenager enters a writing competition and gets published in the New York Times. Her subject? The treatment of Canadian veterans. Can a government once celebrated for its support of our soldiers recover from the stigma that now attaches itself to the Conservatives like an unsightly wound? A lot of work needs to be done. Read the New York Times piece here, as you shake your head. 

Fear and panic ruled the day on October 22 in Ottawa, thanks to social media. Read Taylor's article in NOW here.

Industry: Geospectrum Technologies Inc. aquires Akoostix Inc.

GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc. (GTI), a leading provider of hydroacoustic hardware, today announced they have acquired Akoostix Inc. Akoostix is a leading provider of underwater acoustic and sonar processing software. Their acoustic processing capability compliments GTI’s transducer expertise and is expected to position GTI as a strong contender for system sales in the Asia-Pacific region, the unmanned vehicle sector, and other burgeoning markets.

“The acquisition of Akoostix provides GeoSpectrum with world class acoustic and sonar processing capability, allowing us to better support our customers. I’m very excited about the fact that with this acquisition and our recently acquired capability to develop mechanical handling systems, we are one of only a few sonar companies with the in-house capability to provide end-to-end integrated systems. We intend to work with our partners to leverage this capability in pursuit of a number of emerging opportunities.” said Paul Yeatman, president of GeoSpectrum.

Joe Hood of Akoostix, said: - “Akoostix is very excited by this acquisition as it will allow us to broaden the user base for Adeos-based products and better realize our vision for product development. Our highly focused technical team will be able to work on what we do best while leveraging the significant complementary capability already at GeoSpectrum. This promises to be a true win-win relationship for the owners, our employees and our customers.”

Akoostix will continue to operate in the short term under their current organizational structure.

Volunteering to fight with the Kurds should produce an obvious question: Which ones? Kurds are a fractious group, and many are fighting not only to rid the world of ISIS, but for their own independent state. That state just happens to infringe upon the borders of Iraq, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. When/if the fight against ISIS is finally over, what becomes of the Kurds? Boltered by international support, including high-tech weaponry, will they keep fighting? Read more about the Canadian fighter here.

Hits and Misses for November 10

Aboriginal soldiers among top WW1 snipers

Cpl. Francis Pegahmagabow was credited with 378 kills during the four years he spent on Europe's frontlines. An Ojibway from Ontatio, Pegamagabow was the most highly decorated aboriginal soldier in Canadian history.

Despite his heroism, Pegahmagabow still faced discrimination when he returned home from the war.

Read more here.


MP Peter Stoffer, NDP

MP Peter Stoffer, NDP

Both MP Ryan Cleary and Peter Stoffer aren't sure why their tour was cancelled at Canadian Forces Station St. John's, but the Defence Minister won't be the one to tell them. Read more here.

Details are sketchy, if non-existent, but Iraqi officials claim that a meeting of top ISIS officials was targeted by a U.S. airstrike, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was wounded in the attack. Unfortunately, if "cutting the head off the snake" actually worked, we could all rejoice at ISIS' defeat. But... someone crazier will more than likely take al-Baghdadi place. Read more here.

The United States' built a wall to separate themselves from the ills of Mexico. Canada and the U.S. once enjoyed the so-called "porous" border. Now, it seems, the U.S. Government believes that all evil travels via Canada. Perhaps a large wall will also help to keep our hordes of terrorists out. Because as we all know, the one thing that Islamic extremists don't do well is... climb. Read more here.

At first glance, the bar charts and graphs in this Globe article seem to suggest that the further left your political leanings, the less likely you are to have confidence in the military. But there's more there than meets the eye. Read more here.

Hits and Misses for Nov. 7

Radicalized individuals around the world who wish to trade in the conveniences of the Western world (freedom, democracy, etc., etc.) for the apocalyptic ISIS lifestyle have been hampered by all-too-alert customs and immigration officers — until now, that is. Maniacal fundamentalists have been taking the slow boat to martyrdom (literally) — via cruise ships — in order to lull law enforcement officers into believing they prefer the company of old white people. Although cruise ships don't travel to Syria directly, they do make stops in Turkey, conveniently located just across the border from ISIS-held territory. Read more here.

U.S. President Barack Obama has made the audacious move of writing a letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose forces are on the ground fighting ISIS. Is this a good time to promote peaceful dialogue with Iran? Much of the U.S. government doesn't think so. War first. Think later. Read more here.

CAF acquire new software to predict mental health recovery.

Canadian Armed Forces acquire new software to help predict mental health recovery

November 7, 2014

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) acquired new software to help improve mental health treatment for CAF members. Through the immediate and continuous tracking of progress, treatment will be more readily individually modified and optimized.

This technological advancement is one of a number of initiatives aimed at improving mental health services to Canadian Armed Forces members. These enhancements support clinical best practices, prioritize mental health treatment and improve research.

Quick Facts

The Client-Reported Outcome Monitoring Information System, or ‘CROMIS’ tablet-based software will  be used in treatment starting this month in Ottawa.

At the beginning of each mental health session patients will describe their current state of health through an electronic questionnaire.

The information, once reviewed with the clinician and compared with expected treatment responses, allows for immediate confirmation or modification of treatment and the optimization of individualized care within the CAF.

The software may also be used to identify training needs amongst clinicians, while the data can be incorporated into research and novel therapies.

The acquisition of CROMIS is an important step in the implementation of the Surgeon General’s Mental Health Strategy, announced in the fall of 2013.

The software is expected to cost $580K in 2014/15, $280K in 2015/16, and $250K each year thereafter.


“The health and welfare of our men and women in uniform is a priority of our Government. Leveraging technology is a key part of our efforts to support ill and injured CAF members and this software will help those in need receive the treatment they require.”

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, PC, QC, MP for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence

“By helping our clinicians optimize and our patients to engage in their treatment, this specialized tool will further enhance the care of CAF members. With our many other research collaborations, we also expect our analyses and findings from the use of CROMIS to benefit all Canadians suffering from mental illness.”

Brigadier General Jean-Robert Bernier, Surgeon General

Private Steven Allen, only 20 years of age, was on a wooden structure built atop a sea container during a training exercise at CFB Wainwright when it collapsed. Another soldier was hurt in the incident, but sustained only minor injuries. Read more here.

Hits and Misses for Nov. 6

Remembrance Day is legally considered a holiday in Canada, but we're left to remember the sacrifices of our soldiers at school and work. Every year, plenty of debates begin with the argument that Remembrance Day should be a statutory holiday... this Globe editorial provides  food for thought.

U.S. President Obama awaits news of the Navy Seal operation that killed reviled terrorist Osama Bin Laden. The Seal team member who pulled the trigger has now revealed himself.

U.S. President Obama awaits news of the Navy Seal operation that killed reviled terrorist Osama Bin Laden. The Seal team member who pulled the trigger has now revealed himself.

The identity of the Seal team member who killed Osama Bin Laden was supposed to have been a closely-guarded secret. But after losing some of his benefits from the military, the man who shot and killed the mastermind behind 9/11 has decided to go public. Read more here.

Iraqi children pose for a photo in 2005.

Iraqi children pose for a photo in 2005.

Before news hit the Western media, ISIS had already abducted more than 100 children from their homes in Kobane. After an intense and brutal indoctrination regime, upon their release, many of the children are sympathetic to the ISIS cause. Read more here.

TPL Dinner raises $1.8 million

General (Ret'd) Rick Hillier speaks at the TPL Dinner in 2012. The "Big Cod" returned in 2014.

General (Ret'd) Rick Hillier speaks at the TPL Dinner in 2012. The "Big Cod" returned in 2014.

The True Patriot Love Dinner, held in Toronto on November 5 raised $1.8 million for various military charities. The $1,000-a-plate event brings out big names and big wallets in support of a good cause.

Hits and Misses for Nov. 5

LAVs used in Afghanistan to become commemorative monuments

Canada Company will be leading an initiative that places Light Armoured Vehicles used in the Canadian mission in Afghanistan in various qualifying communities across the country as commemorative monuments.

Blake Goldring, founder of Canada Company and the Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Army said in a statement, "Many of the monuments in Canada are more than 70 years old and are not relevant to this generation. The LAV III Monument program gives communities throughout Canada an opportunity to recognize the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Armed Forces in a very powerful and enduring way.”

Communities that wish to receive a LAV III Monument can visit www.lavmonument.ca. to find out more and to apply.


Hits and Misses for November 4

Note: Not an actual ISIS dumptruck.

Note: Not an actual ISIS dumptruck.

It's best not to think about the cost of the missiles used to take out an ISIS dumptruck and a small number of bulldozers. At least they'll have a bit more trouble creating defensive positions when  Iraqi and Peshmerga soldiers advance.  Read more here.

Despite airstrikes from an increasing number of Western nations, ISIS continues to commit unspeakable atrocities at an alarming rate. David Stout from Time writes on the mass killing of a Sunni tribe in Anbar province, Iraq. Read more here.

Ukraine separatists held an election yesterday, but who's pulling the strings? Is it accurate to give Putin all the credit for the events that are unfolding in Eastern Ukraine, or was he just the catalyst? This editorial doesn't ask those questions. Putin is the enemy, so pile on. Read more here.

EDeC Senior Writer Dave Pugliese provides a few details about the Government of Canada's plan to give away hundreds of military pieces of equipment and vehicles to commemorate the Afghan War. Find it on Defence Watch.

Get to know Commodore Brian Santarpia in this interview.

The RCN's Commodore Brian Santarpia will head up Combined Task Force 150 in the Red Sea from December 2014 to April 2015. Read more here.

Hits and Misses for November 3

LCol Paul Fredenburg fires back on defence spending

LCol Paul W. Fredenburg penned a 6,000-word rebuttal to EdeC contributor Robert Smol's article on "Defence Spending: Trudeau vs Harper" for the Canadian Forces College. Read it here.

FSA General gives the West some pointers

EdeC contributor Murray Brewster hears from a Free Syrian Army General who doesn't shy away from giving Canada some pointers on how to defeat ISIS. http://bit.ly/1yRg8UB

Minister Nicholson speaks at CADSI's SecureTech in Ottawa.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson appeared briefly before a crowd at CADSI's SecureTech luncheon today, speaking of Canada's bombing campaign over Iraq, and stressing the importance of innovation in Canada's defence industry. Although no new details were given regarding the airstrikes, he did mention that without the RCAF's modernized Auroras, airstrikes carried out by our CF-18s would not have been possible.

Scott Taylor's new column out today on CH

Canada is now dropping bombs over ISIS-held territory. We may know who were bombing against, but who are we bombing in support of?   http://bit.ly/1tz5rGh

Would a French CSC make our military more independent?

Michael Den Tandt adds another Canadian Surface Combatant piece under the headline, "Does Canada still need an independent military?" Should read: "If Canada chooses Lockheed and Raytheon for the Canadian Surface Combatant program, we'll be getting too cozy with the U.S. military."  http://bit.ly/1xSblRO

Hits and Misses for October 31

Thank goodness for highly-trained air crews in the Canadian Military. Tom Lawson explains that our CF-18s are up to the task in the Mid-East, but thankfully is realistic enough to know that airstrikes alone won't eliminate today's brand of Islamic extremists. http://bit.ly/1zR591L

As Canada gets ready to pummel the ground beneath ISIS' feet, it seems that the world is hoping the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga will be up to the task of fighting them on the ground. http://bit.ly/1G2agg9

Minister Nicholson, it's time to tackle this issue head-on. Dave Pugliese writes about the CAF's Universality of Service Rule: Nicholson stands to answer NDP Jack Harris' prodding questions in the House, and then puts himself on auto-pilot. http://bit.ly/1wNg1cg

Russia gets what they paid for: Despite the world's condemnation of their actions in Ukraine, and demonization in the media, it seems our other greatest threat (before ISIS took centre stage) has now been handed two warships. The West can't be too worried about Russian aggression. http://rt.com/news/200579-france-russia-mistral-delivery/

Hits and Misses for Oct. 30

Canadian Forces greatest threat this summer in Nunavut? The fiery and merciless "DUMPCANO!"  http://bit.ly/1wIjOaK

This month's issue of Esprit de Corps (mailing out today) questions America's willingness to promote meaningful dialogue and peace in the South China Sea. This article suggests that cooler heads may prevail.  http://yhoo.it/1wIvGcQ

Dear Canadian Government/DND: When the going gets rough, keep our soldiers' uniforms on! http://bit.ly/1FZf99H

Pics from Canadian Forces OP Devouring Serpent. http://bit.ly/1tkZ5tQ

Today's DEFENCE WATCH from Dave Pugliese: http://ottawacitizen.com/category/news/national/defence-watch

Hits and Misses for Oct. 29

The Canadian Forces team in Iraq are on schedule to begin launching airstrikes against ISIS by Saturday, says Lt.-Gen. Jon Vance, the commanding officer for Canadian Joint Operations. For more information, see Matthew Fisher's story for Postmedia News.



As first reported by David Pugliese on his Defence Watch blog, Rheinmetall Canada Inc. has awarded a contract to Israeli defence electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. to produce satellite-on-the-move systems for the Canadian Forces.

According to the press release:

"The contract value, which is in an amount that is not material to Elbit Systems, will be performed over an 18-month period.

"The ELSAT 2100 SOTM system allows high data rate broadband capabilities at a cost effective price. It can be installed on a variety of platforms and is unique in its low profile and small footprint. As part of this new solution, Elbit Systems offers a compact low profile SOTM antenna system that provides broadband communication in Ku, X and Ka frequency bands anywhere, anytime, while using military and commercial satellites, including the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites network which is accessible to only a few companies in the world.

"Yehuda (Udi) Vered, General Manager of Elbit Systems Land and C4I Division, commented: "The SOTM contract is an important milestone in our satellite communication activity. The Canadian Armed Forces are technologically advanced and innovative, and I trust that additional customers will follow and select our systems. The modern battlefield requires very reliable, high data rate capabilities to be provided to numerous users simultaneously and in often adverse weather conditions. Our SOTM communication solution meets these rigorous requirements".

Hits and Misses for October 28, 2014

CBC will be live-streaming Nathan Cirillo's funeral beginning at 10:30am E.T. http://bit.ly/1syYpf5

"Man who made a difference." Patrice Vincent is described by family members in this Star piece. http://on.thestar.com/1v6EN3T

No surprise here. CSIS to be given more powers to monitor and track suspected "radicalized" individuals residing in Canada. http://bit.ly/1tAOE59

Powder that shut-down Canadian Consulate yesterday was chalk dust. http://bit.ly/1zenTHn

DefenceReport.com: Where are those Russians?! Quick notes on Sweden's real-life "Hunt for Red October" http://bit.ly/1tBAxg3

Nat Post Full Comment: If not Terrorism, Treason? http://bit.ly/1v9Ng6s

Hits and Misses for October 27, 2014

Crowd funding for slain soldiers' families shatters expectations and early goals

A crowd funding initiative organized to raise money for the families of two soldiers slain in separate attacks last week has collected far more than its original goal of $10,000.

An Indiegogo campaign to assist the loved ones left behind by the murders of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was intentionally run over in a Quebec parking lot on Oct. 20, and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was shot and killed two days later while standing guard at the national War Memorial in Ottawa is at $470,000 at the time of this blog's publication.

"Kathy Cirillo, Nathan's mother and Marcus' grandmother, is overwhelmed by the compassion, the concern, and the condolences for her son and her grandson," read a statement on behalf of the family. "She has expressed her abiding thanks to all Canadians for their thoughts, their prayers, and this generous act of lasting remembrance."

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, left, and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, right.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, left, and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, right.

HMCS Toronto completes Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION

Ottawa - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto completed her participation in Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION today as part of her Operation REASSURANCE deployment in the Mediterranean Sea in response to the Putin regime’s aggressive military actions against Ukraine.

HMCS Toronto remains engaged with Op REASSURANCE, tasked with patrolling the Mediterranean  to help detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity with Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2). Her presence in the Mediterranean Sea gives Canada the flexibility and capability to respond quickly to emerging crises in the region.

BBC explains that Zehaf-Bibeau made a video that proves the gunman was ideologically driven, while police found a knife he owned at his aunt's home. http://bbc.in/1wBTv8H

Scott Taylor's column in the Chronicle Herald. Social media magnified hysteria over Ottawa shooting. http://bit.ly/1txy5Z2

DefenceReport.com: The Weekly Recap. http://bit.ly/1yFOqKC

Defence Watch: In Pictures: B-52s take part in NORAD exercise. http://bit.ly/1wC4fkb

Defence Watch: Canada involved in NATO anti-sub warfare experiment. http://bit.ly/1xvA3Hj


With MBDA entering into active negotiations with various export prospects regarding CWSP (Compact Warfare System Package) systems, the company has decided to give the product a commercial name. As of now, CWSP will be included in MBDA’s portfolio of products and marketed as SEA RANGER.

SEA RANGER is a combat system based on the most recent missile additions to MBDA’s product range. It is aimed at vessels having responsibility for the safety and security of highly sensitive coastal zones or for providing logistics ships with an effective means of self defence. The system is provided as a turnkey solution by MBDA, integrating the radar and optical sensors as well as a command, control and communication system (C3S) allowing for the optimal deployment of SEA RANGER’s air defence and anti-ship missiles in complex environments.

Calling on its extensive experience in naval combat systems, MBDA is taking responsibility for the full integration of the system on board the relevant vessel and also for providing full customer support in assuring the effective carrying out of the project.

Based on a modular architecture, SEA RANGER can be configured in line with the missile systems to be integrated : for air defence, the MISTRAL system comprising one to four SIMBAD-RC automated turrets (first deliveries of SIMBAD-RC are scheduled for 2015); and for anti-surface warfare in the littoral, the short range anti-ship system, BRIMSTONE, for countering saturating attacks carried out by FIACs (Fast Inshore Attack Craft) or the medium range anti-ship system, MARTE Mk2/N, capable of dealing with intermediate sized vessels.