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1 hour ago, Army Guy said:

See you don't have to be in the combat arms to be someone's hero...Bravo Zulu to those guys and girls 

Maybe this is an example of why we purchased the Cormorants in the first place, added range and payload, perhaps we should have bought more and come with a SAR tech as well, the griffon was a huge mistake to buy, the army proved that, the Air force proved that...another example of politics getting involved in military purchases.

I am very proud of my service with search and rescue.

I did most of my squadron flying on the old CH113/113A Labrador and when the opportunity came to be a member of the procurement team for the new SAR helicopter, I jumped at it.

The Cormorant is so far more advanced and capable than the old Labrador, it was a huge step forward. The work it can do is so much more it is a great asset. The Cormorant is presently undergoing upgrades to make to even more capable. We are fortunate in Canada to have dedicated SAR squadrons and personel.

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1 hour ago, Army Guy said:

See you don't have to be in the combat arms to be someone's hero...Bravo Zulu to those guys and girls 

Maybe this is an example of why we purchased the Cormorants in the first place, added range and payload, perhaps we should have bought more and come with a SAR tech as well, the griffon was a huge mistake to buy, the army proved that, the Air force proved that...another example of politics getting involved in military purchases.

I agree the article underscores the great people and ahittty equipment. The elevation of Bagotville is 522’ ASL and nice cold weather to boot yet the Griffon can’t even carry 7 people including the crew without multiple fuel stops. Isn’t it meant to carry 8-10 soldiers PLUS 3 crew?  I cannot imagine how they even lifted off the ground in the heat and altitude of Afghanistan, especially with all the added armour plating, body armour and door guns.   Must’ve had a range of 10 feet. 

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7 hours ago, BeaverFever said:

I agree the article underscores the great people and ahittty equipment. The elevation of Bagotville is 522’ ASL and nice cold weather to boot yet the Griffon can’t even carry 7 people including the crew without multiple fuel stops. Isn’t it meant to carry 8-10 soldiers PLUS 3 crew?  I cannot imagine how they even lifted off the ground in the heat and altitude of Afghanistan, especially with all the added armour plating, body armour and door guns.   Must’ve had a range of 10 feet. 

I know when we were in Bosnia they had just purchased the new armor plating, floor and seats, not exactly sure, once installed they could only take 3 or 4 troops...and we did not have chinooks then....  In Afghanistan the did not carry troops just crew of 4 pilot co pilot, and 2 crew flight engineers i think as gunners. if we flew any where it was by chinook...unlkess you got medi vac then it was normally a US black hawk.......

not sure if they used the armor on the griffon in Afghanistan or not...never really looked inside of one over there, airstrip was normally out of bounds for us grunts, unless we were taking a chinook ride for a dismounted patrol...

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On 10/18/2023 at 10:14 PM, Army Guy said:

I know when we were in Bosnia they had just purchased the new armor plating, floor and seats, not exactly sure, once installed they could only take 3 or 4 troops...and we did not have chinooks then....  In Afghanistan the did not carry troops just crew of 4 pilot co pilot, and 2 crew flight engineers i think as gunners. if we flew any where it was by chinook...unlkess you got medi vac then it was normally a US black hawk.......

not sure if they used the armor on the griffon in Afghanistan or not...never really looked inside of one over there, airstrip was normally out of bounds for us grunts, unless we were taking a chinook ride for a dismounted patrol...

We, (Canada) basically bought a civil version of the Bell 412 for a number of reasons...(primarily that a plant would be built in Mirabel Quebec)

Realizing this was the wrong thing to do, they started militarizing it. The 412 has an all up weight of 5400 kg, just like the Griffon. (3200 kg basic weight leaving about 2200kg of carrying capacity fro crew and all else)

We started militarizing it by added guns, armoured seats, armour plating and more and well, the all up weigh cannot change so, the "useful load" got less and less.

The helicopter is now in a mid life upgrade program but it is mainly avionics. No new, more powerful engines.

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On 10/20/2023 at 8:32 AM, ExFlyer said:

No new, more powerful engines.

I had noticed that the upgrade project details mention “upgraded” engines but nowhere did anything say they would be more portable or add to performance so assumed the engine upgrades are just to address parts obsolescence or maybe fuel efficiency. 
 

Hey at least they’re finally getting digital instruments….even though glass cockpits existed 30 yrs ago when they first bought the griffons back in the 1990s. I swear the current analog cockpit doesn’t look much different from the old 80s era Cessna 172s I used to fly. 

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Minister Blair officially accepts delivery of first new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles for the Canadian Army

From: National Defence

News release

October 19, 2023 – Garrison Petawawa, Ontario – Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, and General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, visited Garrison Petawawa where the first four new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles (ACSVs) were officially accepted by the Canadian Army.

Minister Blair and General Eyre toured the newly-arrived armoured vehicles, which represent the first of 360 Armoured Combat Support Vehicles that will be delivered to the Canadian Army over the coming years.

These first four vehicles are the ambulance variant, which will be equipped with medical supplies and an internal layout that will allow for the treatment of a wide range of injuries.

Procured through the Armoured Combat Support Vehicle project, these vehicles will provide the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with a modernized, armoured combat support fleet which will ensure the members of the Canadian Army have the tools that they need to conduct operations in Canada, and abroad. These vehicles are general-utility combat support vehicles that will fulfil a wide variety of support roles on the battlefield – including serving as troop transport, command vehicles, electronic warfare, mobile repair, and various combat engineering tasks. They will provide a high degree of maneuverability and protection to their crews and payloads.

This procurement is delivering major economic benefits for Canada. The 360 ACSVs are being acquired thanks to a $2 billioninvestment with General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada. This project is supporting 1,975 jobs annually in London, Ontario and across the country, as well as contributing $250 million dollars annually to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product over an eight-year period.

The delivery of the ambulance marks the first of eight variants to be received by the Canadian Army under the ACSV project. Training for both maintainers and operators of the vehicle is scheduled to begin this month.

Quotes

“The members of the Canadian Armed Forces deserve modern equipment that gets the job done. These new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles will serve our members well at home and abroad, enabling them to protect Canada and support our Allies. I thank the hundreds of Canadian workers involved in building these vehicles – and reaffirm our commitment to investing in our military while creating good jobs for Canadians.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence 

“This project highlights investments in Canada’s domestic supply chain, and the importance of supporting good middle-class jobs. Welcoming the first ambulance variant of the Armoured Combat Support Vehicle supports our commitment in ensuring members of our Canadian Armed Forces have the modern equipment they need to do their jobs and keep Canadians safe.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement 

“Modernizing, renewing and improving our capabilities within the Canadian Armed Forces is essential to keep Canada safe in a world that grows more complex, and I am pleased to see the first variant of the Armoured Combat Support Vehicles project being delivered today. These ambulances, which were much needed, will provide enhanced protection for our personnel when it matters most whether they’re at home or abroad.”

General W.D. Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff

“I am thrilled to see this first wave of Armoured Combat Support Vehicles in the hands of our soldiers. They are professionals who expect to be trained and equipped like the world-class soldiers they are. The Armoured Combat Support Vehicle is one of many ways we’re achieving that. Whether training here in Canada or deployed abroad, this capability will help us to continue to build toward critical missions, including the upcoming multinational brigade in Latvia.”

Lieutenant-General J.J.M.J Paul, Commander Canadian Army

Quick facts

  • Under Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, we previously expected initial delivery in 2025. National Defence and the CAF were able to advance this procurement to a faster timeline, which is good news for CAF members.

  • The new fleet of ACSVs will all be based on the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) 6.0 and will replace the current LAV II Bison and M113 Tracked LAV fleets.

  • The LAV 6.0 is a tested and proven platform that meets the Canadian Army’s needs, and having similar combat support vehicles will offer operational advantages to the CAF, including reduced training and sustainment costs, as well as the availability of common spare parts to fix vehicles quickly during critical operations.

  • The ACSV will provide the CAF with a new fleet of armoured support vehicles employed in eight variants: Command Post, Mobile Repair Team, Maintenance and Recovery Vehicle, Ambulance, Electronic Warfare, Engineer, Troop Cargo Vehicle, and Fitter Cargo Vehicle.

  • CFB Petawawa is receiving the first of the ambulance - armoured support vehicles, a total of 49 vehicles will be delivered to bases across Canada in the coming months.

  • The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy applies to this contract, ensuring that General Dynamics will invest equal to the value of the contract back into the Canadian economy, providing opportunities for Canadian small and medium businesses, and supporting innovation and skills development for Canadian workers.

  • In summer 2022, Canada announced the donation of 39 Armoured Combat Support vehicles to Ukraine, which have all been delivered.

  • On September 22, 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new investment of $650 million over three years to supply Ukraine with 50 armoured vehicles, including armoured medical evacuation vehicles, built by Canadian workers in London, Ontario.

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10 hours ago, BeaverFever said:

I had noticed that the upgrade project details mention “upgraded” engines but nowhere did anything say they would be more portable or add to performance so assumed the engine upgrades are just to address parts obsolescence or maybe fuel efficiency. 
 

Hey at least they’re finally getting digital instruments….even though glass cockpits existed 30 yrs ago when they first bought the griffons back in the 1990s. I swear the current analog cockpit doesn’t look much different from the old 80s era Cessna 172s I used to fly. 

They bought the Bell 412EP and renamed it Griffon. It was digital cockpit at the time but the upgrades are modern, todays digital cockpits. Avionics have evolved over the past 30 years:)

The engine upgrades are just to installing digital engine controls. More precise engine control. No extra power.

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3 hours ago, ExFlyer said:

They bought the Bell 412EP and renamed it Griffon. It was digital cockpit at the time but the upgrades are modern, todays digital cockpits. Avionics have evolved over the past 30 years:)

The engine upgrades are just to installing digital engine controls. More precise engine control. No extra power.

From the pictures it looks pretty analog to me

 

image.thumb.jpeg.98ad6feb7f31a1fc9352df4830c81506.jpeg
 

image.thumb.jpeg.ec017e01d80d8f3bafdc4cb03dbea3f5.jpeg

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Surveillance aircraft Canada wants to purchase in $8 billion deal facing problems with parts and reliability

Get the latest from David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen straight to your inbox 

Published Oct 24, 2023  •  Last updated 7 hours ago  •  4 minute read

A November 2022 report to Congress from the U.S. Government Accountability Office has warned that there are ongoing problems getting enough parts for the P-8s as well as problems with the reliability of those components.A November 2022 report to Congress from the U.S. Government Accountability Office has warned that there are ongoing problems getting enough parts for the P-8s as well as problems with the reliability of those components. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class andy and /Naval Air Station Sigonella

 

 

 

U.S. government auditors have raised concerns about a shortage of parts and reliability issues for the very aircraft that Canada hopes to purchase in an $8 billion deal.

The Liberal government is involved in discussions for the proposed acquisition from the U.S. and Boeing of a fleet of P-8 surveillance aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CP-140 Aurora planes.

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But a November 2022 report to Congress from the U.S. Government Accountability Office has warned that there are ongoing problems getting enough parts for the P-8s as well as problems with the reliability of those components. “The unexpected replacement of parts and repairs has been a challenge for the program,” the GAO noted in its report.

“According to (P-8) program officials, the P-8A program has experienced unexpected replacement of parts and repairs, in addition to parts shortages and delays,” added the GAO, the top auditing agency of the U.S. government.

There are also problems with maintenance of the aircraft, according to the report.

The GAO pointed out that the U.S. military is trying to deal with the various P-8 issues; it has also put in place several dozen projects to improve the reliability of the parts and “to remove barriers that have affected overall sustainment system performance.”

Some of the parts are being damaged by in-flight vibrations, so a plan is in place to redesign components and to eventually replace a key system on the aircraft, the GAO report noted.

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Neither National Defence nor Public Services and Procurement Canada could provide a response to questions from this newspaper about the parts shortages identified by the U.S. auditors.

Bill Matthews, the deputy minister at National Defence, told MPs on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations on Oct. 17 that in his view it is easier to sustain equipment that is also operated by allies since that means more readily available parts. Matthews did not mention the U.S. report on the problem with P-8 parts.

The potential sale of the 16 Boeing planes and associated equipment is worth around $7.8 billion, but project costs at National Defence will push that to well over $8 billion.

Canada made a formal request in late March to the U.S. government asking it to offer a fleet of Boeing P8 surveillance aircraft.

The Canadian Forces had originally planned a competition starting next year to replace the RCAF’s CP-140 Auroras. That program had outlined the acceptance of bids in 2027.

The Quebec-based aerospace firm Bombardier had planned to bid on the project, pitching a proposal to build the planes in the Toronto area. U.S. aerospace giant Boeing also intended on bidding.

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But instead the Liberal government decided to proceed with the proposed P-8 purchase because it would be considered an off-the-shelf military purchase and already operational. PSPC has stated that the P-8 is the only aircraft that meets the military’s needs, although government officials acknowledge they did not examine other potential aircraft in-depth.

Kawasaki responded to Canada’s request for information on new aircraft by highlighting Japan’s P-1 surveillance aircraft, which is now flying with that country’s military. Canadian officials did not examine that aircraft, which is also considered a military-off-the-shelf solution.

In late May, a number of leading Canadian aerospace firms wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requesting he allow an open competition for a new surveillance plane instead of sole-sourcing the deal to a U.S. company.

The P-8 is in service with the U.S. Navy, Indian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Republic of Korea Navy and Germany Navy.

The U.S. government has been pressuring Canada to boost defence spending, in particular acquiring more American-built equipment. In response, the Liberal government has been highlighting Canada’s ongoing military equipment projects to U.S. lawmakers, noting that Canada is buying the U.S.-built F-35 stealth fighter and will spend tens of billions on joint U.S.-Canadian radar systems and defences. In addition, many of the armaments and ammunition Canada is providing to Ukraine come from U.S. industry via the American government.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency told Congress in June that the P-8 sale to Canada will help American military forces in their missions around the world.

Boeing in Seattle will be the prime contractor for the Canadian P-8 deal, with other firms under contract to the U.S. Navy to provide components, systems and engineering services. Any work for Canadian firms would be negotiated later.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency told Congress in June that the P-8 sale to Canada will help American military forces in their missions around the world.

Boeing in Seattle will be the prime contractor for the Canadian P-8 deal, with other firms under contract to the U.S. Navy to provide components, systems and engineering services. Any work for Canadian firms would be negotiated later.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/surveillance-aircraft-canada-wants-to-purchase-in-8-billion-deal-facing-problems-with-parts-and-reliability

 

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2 hours ago, BeaverFever said:

Kawasaki responded to Canada’s request for information on new aircraft by highlighting Japan’s P-1 surveillance aircraft, which is now flying with that country’s military. Canadian officials did not examine that aircraft, which is also considered a military-off-the-shelf solution.

Th Kawasaki P-1 is a cool Maritime Patrol/ASW aircraft but I haven’t heard of it being used for any of the other ISTAR missions that we want the “Canadian Multi-mission Aircraft” to perform. Plus Japan is the only operator so limited commonality with allies. 
 

I still think we should get a mix of P-8s and Bizjet/Bombardier platforms for the CMMA, and use the same Bizjet platform to replace the 4 current Challenger VIP aircraft 

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5 hours ago, BeaverFever said:

Th Kawasaki P-1 is a cool Maritime Patrol/ASW aircraft but I haven’t heard of it being used for any of the other ISTAR missions that we want the “Canadian Multi-mission Aircraft” to perform. Plus Japan is the only operator so limited commonality with allies. 
 

I still think we should get a mix of P-8s and Bizjet/Bombardier platforms for the CMMA, and use the same Bizjet platform to replace the 4 current Challenger VIP aircraft 

Bombardier does make a variety of different variants for it's biz jet as well as AEW, both models do offer more range, time on station, better fuel economy... but then again not many nations are interested in it, and aircraft are part hogs to the extreme, having multi logistics lines to choose from many different countries is an attractive option...better off with picking a common NATO aircraft.

737 model also has many different variants, such as an AEW option, with many common parts...

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3 hours ago, Army Guy said:

Bombardier does make a variety of different variants for it's biz jet as well as AEW, both models do offer more range, time on station, better fuel economy... but then again not many nations are interested in it, and aircraft are part hogs to the extreme, having multi logistics lines to choose from many different countries is an attractive option...better off with picking a common NATO aircraft.

737 model also has many different variants, such as an AEW option, with many common parts...

Yeah there are som bombardier in various forms military service including US military. Gulfstream as well and undoubtedly other manufacturers. I would accept any Bizjet really. I think some missions especially domestic ones aren’t well-suited to a big ol B737 and 10-man crew and also don’t justify the cost  

On a related note, it seems the reason that Canadian CANSOFCOM was able to get its hands on 3 King Air turboprop surveillance aircraft might be because as part of the US military’s pivot back to near-peer threats, they are the process of moving most of their turboprop platforms such as King Airs and Dash 8 to Bizjets. 

https://www.sandboxx.us/news/why-is-the-military-buying-business-jets/

 

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/new-surveillance-aircraft-for-canadian-special-forces-to-start-arriving-later-this-year/wcm/229049f6-f4ae-4477-af5b-7262a294b92b/amp/

 

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/the-army-has-axed-its-dash-8-surveillance-planes

 

 

https://robbreport.com/motors/aviation/new-gulfstream-military-jet-1234749983/amp/

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Canadian industry challenges claims by top DND bureaucrat in battle over new surveillance plane

Defence industry representatives question why Bill Matthews failed to tell a House of Commons committee that the Canadian Forces is in the midst of spending around $400 million to modernize the CP-140 Aurora.

Get the latest from David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen straight to your inbox 

Published Oct 25, 2023  •  Last updated 1 hour ago  •  5 minute read

Boeing P-8 Surveillance planeA photo of the Boeing P-8 surveillance aircraft, which National Defence is pitching for purchase for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Photo by Boeing /Handout

 

Canadian firms are pushing back against being shut out of any role in the military’s proposed purchase of a new surveillance plane and are raising questions about recent claims made to parliamentarians by the top bureaucrat at National Defence.

Bill Matthews, deputy minister at National Defence, told MPs on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations on Oct. 17 that the CP-140 Aurora was lagging in interoperability with Canada’s allies and was no longer relevant.

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Matthews was making the pitch for the Boeing P-8 aircraft, which defence officials claim is the only plane that can replace meet their requirements in replacing the CP-140. The potential purchase of the 16 Boeing planes, to be built in Seattle, as well as associated equipment is worth around $7.8 billion. The overall project cost is expected to be closer to $9 billion.

“From a capability perspective (the CP-140) is losing relevance rather quickly,” Matthews told parliamentarians.

But defence industry representatives are pushing back against those claims and questioning why Matthews failed to mention the Canadian Forces is in the midst of spending around $400 million to modernize the Aurora into a state-of-the art surveillance aircraft. Those 14 planes will be delivered by next summer as part of what is known as the Aurora Block IV upgrade. That modernization program includes installation of a system that will make them interoperable with the United States and other NATO nations. The upgrades includes new air defence systems and sensors, making the Auroras among the most advanced anti-submarine warfare aircraft currently flying.

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Bombardier, which is lobbying the Liberal government to allow an open competition for a new aircraft instead of having the deal given to Boeing, issued a statement challenging the testimony of government officials at the Oct. 17 committee.

“In addition to going against the federal government’s own framework, which calls for a full and proper procurement process, comments and conclusions are ultimately based on falsities and political pressure that work to the disadvantage of Canadians and our aerospace sector as a whole,” Bombardier’s statement noted. “Canada can be proud of being one of the few countries with a major aeronautics ecosystem, with top-of-the-line military capabilities, and it seems wrong to us that the Canadian government should choose an outdated platform to facilitate a short-term decision that will have long-term implications.”

General Dynamics Mission Systems Canada of Ottawa, which has been shut out of providing equipment for the P-8, published a message Tuesday on X, formerly Twitter: “We continue to call for a transparent and open tender process.”

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Matthews did not respond to a request for an interview, but he did provide a statement: “I am proud of the work DND/CAF experts and maintainers continue to do on the CP-140, which continues to perform its duties exceptionally well despite its age. While the Block IV upgrades will ensure the CAF have sufficiently advanced equipment to conduct required operations until 2030, a complete replacement will still be required as the aircraft is losing relevance, while adversaries get more complicated.”

Canadian companies are trying what they see as one last push to convince the Liberal government to spend the billions of dollars on new planes with Canadian-made systems rather than giving the work to U.S. companies.

Over the years, Canadian governments have spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing a domestic anti-submarine warfare industry, largely centred on General Dynamics Mission Systems. That has made Canada a world leader in anti-submarine warfare and airborne surveillance, with such equipment being sold to various nations, industry representatives point out.

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Canadian defence industry officials also questioned Matthews’ claims by pointing out that in 2022, for the second year in a row, a RCAF team flying a modernized CP-140 Aurora beat out crews from the U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Indian Navy and the Japanese and Korean militaries in an anti-submarine warfare competition and exercise. A number of those nations flew the P-8 at that time.

After the win by the RCAF team, Skies magazine, a Canadian aviation publication, reported that the upgrades to Aurora’s mission systems, radar, and other sensors, as well as acoustic detection capabilities, had kept the aircraft on par with the newer Boeing P-8.

The Canadian Forces originally planned a competition to replace the CP-140 Auroras starting in 2024. That program had outlined the acceptance of bids in 2027.

Federal officials had requested information from industry and received 23 responses, including one from the Quebec-based aerospace firm Bombardier, which had pitched a proposal to build the planes in the Toronto area. Kawasaki responded to Canada’s request by highlighting Japan’s P-1 surveillance aircraft, now flying with that country’s military.

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Canadian government officials acknowledge they did not follow up with the various firms. Instead the Liberal government decided to begin the procedure to potentially purchase the P-8.

Public Services and Procurement Canada has stated the P-8 is the only aircraft that meets the military’s needs, although government officials acknowledge they did not examine other potential aircraft in-depth.

Canada made a formal request in March to the U.S. government to offer a fleet of P-8 aircraft.

In May, several leading Canadian aerospace firms wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, requesting that he allow an open competition for a new surveillance plane instead of sole-sourcing the deal to the U.S. company.

Marie-France Proulx, director of communications for Procurement Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, noted that a final decision on a new surveillance aircraft had not yet been made. That decision “will be based on the capability offered, availability, pricing and benefits to Canadian industry,” she said Tuesday.

The U.S. government has pressured Canada to boost defence spending, in particular, acquiring more American-built equipment. In response, the Liberal government has highlighted Canada’s ongoing military equipment projects to U.S. lawmakers, noting Canada is buying the U.S.-built F-35 stealth fighter and will spend tens of billions on joint U.S.-Canadian radar systems and defences. In addition, many of the armaments and ammunition Canada is providing to Ukraine come from U.S. industry via the American government.

 

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/canadian-industry-challenges-claims-by-top-dnd-bureaucrat-in-battle-over-new-surveillance-plane

 

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43 minutes ago, BeaverFever said:

Canadian defence industry officials also questioned Matthews’ claims by pointing out that in 2022, for the second year in a row, a RCAF team flying a modernized CP-140 Aurora beat out crews from the U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Indian Navy and the Japanese and Korean militaries in an anti-submarine warfare competition and exercise. A number of those nations flew the P-8 at that time.

After the win by the RCAF team, Skies magazine, a Canadian aviation publication, reported that the upgrades to Aurora’s mission systems, radar, and other sensors, as well as acoustic detection capabilities, had kept the aircraft on par with the newer Boeing P-8.

For more info on this see these articles about Canadian teams winning the “Dragon Belt”  sub-hunting competition back-to back during the first two years that Canadians participated in it (2021 and 2022).   In 2023 Canadians finished a close third due to mechanical issues with their aircraft (the winner was a Japanese team in a Kawasaki P-1 and per the Canadians both the winners had adopted Canadian tactics). Interesting fact: the United States has never won the Dragon Belt contest which originated in 2019 between US, Australia and New Zealand (all operating P-8s) and no P-8 team has won the competition since Canadians joined the competition starting in 2021. 
 

The Demons of 407 Squadron defend anti-submarine warfare title

…Reclaiming the coveted Dragon’s Belt as the overall top performer was a point of pride for the Aurora crew and maintainers, who also won the Kraken award for the most consistent attacks. The CP-140 is a variant of the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion, but recent upgrades to mission systems, radar, EO/IR, and other sensors, as well as acoustic detection capabilities, have kept the aircraft on par with the newer Boeing P-8A Poseidon operated by the American, Australian, and Indian teams.

...”We operate a little bit differently being a turboprop airplane and the types of sonobuoys we use,” Kosciukiewicz explained of the Block III Aurora. “The P-8 tends towards higher altitude tracking. We continue to operate at very low levels, 200 to 300 feet [above the water]. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.”

https://skiesmag.com/news/demons-407-squadron-defend-anti-submarine-warfare-title-sea-dragon/?amp

 

Exercise Sea Dragon puts 407 Squadron, CP-140 Aurora to the test

…“There was a lot of attention on us as the two-time Dragon Belt champions. I think Japan took it on themselves to gain as much information from us as they could over the last two years. It was nice to see that the collaboration that occurs at this exercise leads to nations elevating their game, which improves year after year. They practiced hard and came at this thing to win it. On the replays, it was clear that their tactics looked very similar to ours.”

…Conducted over two weeks in late March, Sea Dragon consists of classroom sessions, targeted missions on a range, and over 270 hours of in-flight training — including practice missions hunting an expendable mobile ASW training target, and graded missions on a MK 30 underwater acoustic target. It concludes with a final challenge tracking a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine.

The CP-140 crew would have flown three missions against the nuclear-powered submarine, but engine problems with the Aurora prevented them from completing any of these last sorties. Maintenance technicians worked through two days of extreme heat and humidity to resolve a horsepower-related problem and an issue with one of the propeller systems. But after a functional test flight to declare the CP-140 serviceable, the aircrew then encountered problems with the mission computer system.

“Our air conditioning was only so good, and our mission computers were struggling with the heat,” explained MacDonald, originally a naval engineer before he transferred to the Air Force as a pilot.

“Even on the competition missions, it was difficult for the crew to work through these issues. But when we finally got the plane serviceable, the computers kept falling offline, so we couldn’t fly our last submarine mission.”


 

 

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Public debate over the Canadian Multi-mission Aircraft is sure picking up right now…

 

Ottawa’s plans to buy Boeing jets based on ‘flawed’ information, Bombardier CEO says

 

WQJOQG3AHBFJNBJNV7ODMUTQ3Q.jpg

Bombardier president and CEO Eric Martel introduces the new Challenger 3500 in Montreal on Sept. 14, 2021. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Martel said Ottawa appears to have made up its mind to purchase Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance jets.The Canadian Press

The Canadian government is set to spend as much as $10-billion to buy new military surveillance aircraft from U.S. giant Boeing Co. 

 
 

based on “highly flawed and invalid information,” says Bombardier Inc. 

 
 

chief executive Eric Martel. The move is short-sighted and will hurt the country as Bombardier and other domestic players try to build out their defence potential in the years ahead, he insists.

 

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Martel said Ottawa appears to have made up its mind to purchase Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance jets from the Virginia-based plane maker in a sole-source contract without a formal request for proposals. He said his team understands the government intends to invoke a national security exception in its decision to speed up the transaction and avoid exposing itself to legal challenges.

“I think we were misled,” Mr. Martel said of the government’s procurement process. “Other countries are knocking on our door today because they see ours as the product of the future, which is a bit mind-boggling considering that in our own country right now we’re not even being considered.”

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Bombardier and several other Canadian manufacturers have been pushing for an open competition to supply the government’s Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft project, which aims to find a replacement for the military’s CP-140 Aurora planes. The contract, estimated to be worth $6-billion to $10-billion, is one of the largest military procurements in years. Boeing has told Canada that it could stop building its plane in 2025 if additional orders aren’t placed.

The Bombardier CEO’s open criticism speaks to the high stakes involved as nations boost their military spending amid increasing geopolitical tensions – not only for the government but also for the company. Ottawa wants to avoid repeating the embarrassments of military procurement projects such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 strike fighter fiasco a decade ago and the delays experienced on others, such as the purchase of Airbus Kingfisher search and rescue planes. Bombardier, meanwhile, wants to avoid having to explain to future military clients why it can’t do business with its home government.

Canada picks U.S.-made F-35 fighter jet as next warplane

Military dealing with gap in search-and-rescue services due to procurement delay

Montreal-based Bombardier has teamed up with rival General Dynamics Corp. 

 
 

, one of the world’s biggest defence contractors, on a surveillance aircraft with submarine hunting capability they say would fit the military’s needs. Bombardier is supplying the jet, a modified version of its Global 6500 model, while General Dynamics contributes much of the “mission systems,” including sonar equipment and satellite communications.

 

The government has declined to issue a formal call for proposals, opting instead for a Request for Information (RFI) sent out last year to get a feel for the capabilities of potential suppliers. It also hired a third-party consultancy, U.S.-based Avascent, to get an outside opinion on the solutions available to replace the Aurora aircraft.

In March, Public Services and Procurement Canada said it sent a request through the U.S. foreign military sales program to explore the viability of buying 16 Boeing P-8A jets. Analysts said it’s further proof Boeing is on a short track for the contract.

Olivier Pilon, a spokesman for Jean-Yves Duclos, federal Minister of Public Procurement, said Mr. Duclos and his team are in touch with numerous stakeholders related to the aircraft contract, including Bombardier. “Discussions on the replacement of the aircraft fleet are ongoing and no final decision has been taken,” Mr. Pilon said. Officials with the Department of National Defence did not answer questions sent by The Globe.

Bombardier has been working behind the scenes to better understand the government’s thinking, meeting with bureaucrats and lawmakers to press for an open competition. During one such meeting, Mr. Martel said he and Pierre Sein Pyun, Bombardier’s vice-president of government affairs, were stunned when a public official – “a decider,” in their words – told them that military procurement has been so problematic in recent years that Ottawa intends to proceed with sole-source contracts when it can to save time and trouble.

“It became clear for us that the P-8 is the easy button,” Mr. Pyun said. “They don’t want to trouble themselves with an open tender process … They’ve been burned with some programs that have nothing to do with us.”

Last week, senior officials with the departments of National Defence, Public Services and Procurement, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada appeared before a Commons committee to answer questions about a possible Boeing P-8 purchase.

Simon Page, an assistant deputy minister in charge of defence and marine procurement, said that based on the findings of Avascent, the project team concluded that it would be “very challenging” for Canadian industry to develop and deliver a plane in a time frame that dovetails with the life expectancy of the CP-140 planes currently in use. Mr. Martel challenged the competency of Avascent to make that assessment and said the consultancy never met with Bombardier or any other local aerospace firm.

In their testimony, the senior officials also said that among the 23 submissions received from the RFI process, the Boeing plane was the only “military off-the-shelf” product that could meet the needs of Canada’s Armed Forces. Mr. Martel says that having an off-the-shelf product was never a requirement that was spelled out explicitly in the RFI. Rather, Mr. Pyun says, the RFI asked respondents if they could offer a solution by the end of the 2030s. The timeline was later modified to require first deliveries in 2032, a deadline he says Bombardier and General Dynamics can meet.

Adding to the confusion, Boeing’s own proposed offering for Canada, the Block 2 version of the P-8A, is still in development until 2025, which means it’s not really off-the-shelf, while Japanese manufacturer Kawasaki’s P1 aircraft, which is in the mix, is flying now and should be considered off-the-shelf, Mr. Martel said. After Ottawa received the RFI submissions, federal officials responded to Canadian companies that subsequently contacted the government, but never formally followed up with any potential bidders to exchange additional information.

“The government of Canada is poised to make a $6-billion to $10-billion investment on potentially highly flawed and invalid information,” Mr. Martel and General Dynamics executive Joel Houde wrote in a letter this week to Mr. Duclos. “How can Canadian government officials conclude there is no Canadian solution when they have not had a single aerospace expert meet with Canadian industry to review the detailed engineering behind Canadian industry alternatives?”

Federal officials have cited the fact that several of Canada’s closest military allies fly the Boeing P-8 jet as a big plus, including the United States and all other members of the Five Eyes intelligence pact. Bombardier counters that several of those countries are searching for alternatives or modifications to the planes because of operational shortcomings and cost.

According to Bombardier, nations with a domestic airplane manufacturing capability have not purchased the P-8. France, for example, is launching development of its own multi-mission aircraft.

Mr. Martel said Canada should adopt the same long-term thinking, looking beyond this one military procurement contract to consider how it could help build out a stronger domestic military manufacturing base. Bombardier already builds a handful of specialized aircraft every year that are used by other nations – it has jets flying missions for the U.S. government over Afghanistan, for example – but it has ambitions to significantly grow its military business in the years ahead.

“There are over 180 P-8s flying up there and we believe we could be the replacement in the future for the majority of them” Mr. Martel said, adding that Canada’s aerospace sector was spawned from military beginnings before veering in a more commercial direction. “There is clearly a path here where we can bring our industry back in and be proud of that.”

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-bombardier-boeing-military-aircraft-boeing/#:~:text=The Canadian government is set,from U.S. giant Boeing Co.&text=based on “highly flawed and,information%2C” says Bombardier Inc.&text=chief executive Eric Martel.

 

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Canada’s CF-18 fighter jet force ‘in crisis,’ new study funded by DND says

 

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A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet pilot prepares to perform at the Aero Gatineau Ottawa airshow in Gatineau, on Sept. 15.PATRICK DOYLE/The Canadian Press

A new study funded by the Department of National Defence says Canada’s CF-18 fighter aircraft force “is in crisis” and suffering from low morale, high rates of departure among instructor pilots and a shortage of maintenance technicians, impairing its ability to meet defence obligations to allies.

The report, by Justin Bronk, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute, a 192-year-old British think tank, points to a number of underlying causes.

Those include the aging aircraft themselves, a “very inefficient” spare-parts supply process, “poor aircraft availability,” “unsustainable pilot workload” and a marked “trust gap” in how captain- and major-ranked pilots regard their leadership.

“Resignation and retirement rates among experienced instructor pilots and weapons instructors have been unsustainably high for years, and in such a small fighter force, have now become an immediate threat to its viability,” the report says.

“Urgent action must be taken now, before the decline becomes completely irreversible.”

The CF-188 Hornet, better known as the CF-18, is Canada’s multirole fighter aircraft. It first entered service in the 1980s. Canada is buying new F-35 Lightning aircraft, but Ottawa is taking delivery of the new fighters slowly, beginning in 2026, and won’t phase out CF-18s completely until about 2032. The operating life of the Hornets has been extended through a refurbishment initiative known as the Hornet Extension Program, or HEP.

Prof. Bronk warns that this state of affairs could jeopardize Canada’s shift to new aircraft.

Among the remedies he recommends are the addition of more maintenance and support equipment, and the hiring of civilian contractors to reduce the administrative workload for air crew.

He cautions that, without action, “there will be insufficient experienced pilots to effectively transition the force onto the F-35 whilst maintaining any meaningful combat capabilities in the remaining two CF-18 HEP II squadrons out to 2032.”

The report, obtained by The Globe and Mail, is labelled “Not for Public Release” and was produced with funding from National Defence’s MINDS program, which pays for research and analysis by scholars.

Another driver of pilot disaffection, particularly among experienced instructors, the report says, “is the fact that they do not see themselves as being adequately trained or equipped for many of the missions that they are notionally liable to be deployed on.”

These same instructors feel they can’t train people to the standards they know to be necessary and “are increasingly frustrated and worried by the prospect of what will happen if they have to go into combat poorly prepared,” the report adds.

Canada is a member of both the 31-member NATO military alliance and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a joint agreement with the United States. The country has obligations to supply resources to both partnerships.

The RUSI report says near-term geopolitical concerns, including risks in Asia, mean the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fighter capability can’t be allowed to decline.

“With the maximum risk period for a clash between China and the United States in the Indo-Pacific assessed as being 2026-2028 by the Pentagon and wider U.S. intelligence community, and no end in sight to either the ongoing war in Ukraine or increasing Russian military production and recruitment, the global security outlook is far too dangerous to let the CF-18 fighter force continue to degrade,” the report says.

Prof. Bronk warns that Canada’s CF-18 force “is not credible in a NATO context against many of the higher-end mission sets” that pilots are currently being trained for, both from a mission readiness and equipment perspective.

He cites NATO’s Article 5, the collective defence pact at the heart of the alliance, which says that an attack against one member is considered as an attack against all. Such an attack could trigger military action by NATO countries against the aggressor.

“The CF-18 as a 40 year old aircraft, and the limited set of pilot competency achievable within the flying hours available, greatly limit what Canadian Hornet crews would be able to achieve against a peer adversary in a NATO Article Five contingency,” Prof. Bronk writes.

The report says Canada is wasting flying time and money training for high-risk scenarios that “no NATO commander would ever allocate RCAF CF-18s to.”

Prof. Bronk recommends that Canada refocus its aircraft training and resources on missions for which it “could credibly be employed,” such as NORAD air interceptions, NATO air policing and other scenarios.

Prof. Bronk declined to comment on his work, saying in an e-mailed statement that it was “for official use only.”

Conservative defence critic James Bezan blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government for what he called the “state of disrepair” of the Canadian Armed Forces. He cited the years it took the government to procure a replacement for the CF-18s, and what he described as billions in the defence budget that have gone unspent. The government calls this “lapsed spending.” It is often caused by procurement delays.

He accused Mr. Trudeau of “playing politics” with fighter jets by promising in his 2015 election platform not to buy F-35s, then running a selection process that years later ended in a decision to buy F-35s.

Andrea Charron, director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba, said the report has identified key problems for Canada’s air force. “But I am not certain it is as stark as painted,” she said.

She noted that Chief of the Defence Staff Wayne Eyre “has been very upfront that recruitment and retention is a focus area” in the military.

She said the report may nevertheless galvanize concern. “The shock value, however, may help expedite changes,” she said.

Daniel Le Bouthillier, head of media relations at National Defence, said in a statement that the department and the military “are aware of the many issues highlighted” by Prof. Bronk and “are actively engaged, alongside our DND colleagues, in looking into these issues, and seeking solutions to them.”

But he said the air force “remains able to meet our NORAD commitments for the defence of Canada and the security of North American airspace.”

David Perry, president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said he is concerned about the ability of the air force to keep its fighter force intact until Canada begins to receive F-35s.

He said the military should look at setting up an air national guard, as the U.S. has, to ensure trained pilots are ready for the new fighters. ”It’s time to get creative, because this is a really serious situation,” he said.


 

 

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I have read dozens of these articles written by some journalist that does care about the state of our military...they are ringing the bells and whistles to have someone do something...But our politicians are not listening...neither are Canadians...Our military is already well over 15,000 recruits short and these are very old numbers, most of our equipment is well over due for replacement...all of it needed at the same time...and in a very short time all that will be left is just a shell...the equipment will be to old to modify and nobody is going to be around to operate it...

Articles like these are a wasted on Canadians, that are either to stupid to care of the consequences, or are overwhelmed by everything else thats wrong with this country...

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F-35 fighter jet to cost Canada $74 billion, says PBO

The total includes the development, acquisition, operations and sustainment of the F-35 over a 45-year period.

Get the latest from David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen straight to your inbox 

Published Nov 02, 2023  •  3 minute read

F-35File photo: A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. Photo by Axel Schmidt /REUTERS

The total cost of Canada’s purchase of a fleet of F-35 stealth fighters will be $74 billion, according to a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

PBO Yves Giroux said Thursday that his analysis includes the total estimated cost of the development, acquisition, operations and sustainment, and disposal of the new fleet of fighter jets. The figure of $73.9 billion is over a 45-year period, he added.

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The PBO analysis is broadly in line with the federal government’s own estimate of about $70 billion, Giroux added.

The first four of the planned 88 aircraft are expected to arrive in 2026, with deliveries increasing annually to a maximum of 18 per year in 2029. This rate is expected to be sustained until the final 18 aircraft are delivered in 2032, according to Giroux.

“The total cost of the acquisition phase, including not just the purchase cost of the fighter jets but all acquisition phase activities, is projected to be $19.8 billion according to our analysis”, Giroux noted.

The operations and sustainment phase is estimated at $53.8 billion and is slated to begin in 2025-26, in advance of the delivery of the first F-35s to the Royal Canadian Air Force. The aircraft is expected to reach the end of its useful life in 2061-2062. Giroux’s figures include the cost of disposing of the planes.

The Liberal government announced earlier this year that it would purchase 88 jets valued at $19 billion. That cost includes the aircraft, new infrastructure and some initial maintenance and weapons.

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The F-35 program has had a controversial history in Canada. In the late 1990s, the Liberal government provided funding for the development of the aircraft but did not commit to purchasing the stealth fighter.

In July 2010, in a high-profile news conference which saw Conservative Defence Minister Peter Mackay sitting in the cockpit of a F-35 mock-up, the Harper government announced it was purchasing the plane. But increasing costs and technical problems dogged the F-35 program. In August 2012, Conservative MP Chris Alexander was roundly mocked after he claimed the Harper government never stated it would buy the F-35. The Conservatives eventually backed away from the purchase because of increasing costs and technical problems associated with the stealth jet.

During the 2015 election campaign, Justin Trudeau vowed that his government would never purchase the F-35.

As prime minister, Trudeau continued to point out the Canadian military had no need for the F-35. “Canadians know full well that, for 10 years, the Conservatives completely missed the boat when it came to delivering to Canadians and their armed forces the equipment they needed,” Trudeau said in June 2016. “They clung to an aircraft (the F-35) that does not work and is far from working.”

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The Liberal government also noted the F-35’s “stealth first-strike capability” was not needed to defend Canada.

But Trudeau flipped on his election promise, not only committing to the purchase but increasing the number of jets from the 65 the Conservatives had wanted to buy to 88.

Canada will receive its first F-35 stealth fighter in 2026, according to the federal government. Full operational capability of the fighter fleet is expected between 2032 and 2034.

Supporters of the F-35 say many of Canada’s allies are now flying the same aircraft and the plane represents the latest in technology. Social justice and peace groups have argued against spending billions on the jets, saying the money could be better spent on affordable housing and health care.

Some U.S. lawmakers have expressed concerns about the high cost to maintain the stealth jets.

In April 2022 hearings, Congressman John Garamendi, the Democrat chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s readiness subcommittee, highlighted such issues. “We’re not going to buy more (F-35s) until we figure out how to maintain them,” Garamendi said. “It is a fool’s errand. It is a waste of money by the taxpayers.”

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Canada will establish maintenance capabilities of its own at military bases in Bagotville, Que., and Cold Lake, Alta.

Under the F-35 agreement, partner nations such as Canada are prohibited from imposing requirements for industrial benefits as the work on the fighter jets is determined on the best value basis. Canadian firms compete, and if they are good enough they receive contracts. Canadian firms have earned more than $3 billion in contracts to build F-35 parts, according to the federal government.


https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/f-35-fighter-jet-to-cost-canada-74-billion-says-pbo

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Future Protecteur-class Joint Support Ships provide vital capability to the Royal Canadian Navy

The longest ship ever built in Canada, at close to 174 metres in length, the future Protecteur-class Joint Support Ships (JSS) will provide core replenishment, limited sealift capabilities and support to operations ashore for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).

The two new ships are currently under construction with the first, future His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Protecteur, expected to be delivered to the RCN in 2025. Protecteur will be the lead ship of the class, and the second will be named HMCS Preserver. Protecteurwill remain on the West Coast, with Preserver destined for Halifax.

According to Commander (Cdr) Brian Henwood, Project Director JSS, the hull of the first ship is now structurally complete with the recent instalment of replenishment-at-sea posts. The ship’s crew have begun being posted, with most of the crew expected to arrive in summer 2024.

The second JSS, future HMCS Preserver, commenced assembly in 2022 and presently has 43 of 115 blocks now under construction. A keel laying ceremony hosted by Seaspan is taking place on October 27 and represents a significant milestone in the construction of the ship as it marks the “birth” of the vessel. As part of the ceremony, a newly minted coin is laid near the keel where it remains for the life of the vessel and is thought to bring the ship and crew good luck.

“JSS brings a critical capability that will allow the RCN to operate around the world without the need to rely on partner nations or port visits in other countries,” explains Cdr Henwood.

“It will be a key enabler of the Government of Canada’s ability to operate in the Indo-Pacific theatre of operations and will support allied and partner nations working alongside the RCN such as NATO or Combined Maritime Forces.”

As with most naval supply ships, capabilities of the JSS include providing fuel, food, supplies, water, maintenance and medical support.

“But they can do so much more,” says Cdr Henwood.

With a full Combat Management System and Communications Suite, JSS will be capable of participating in any fight, using its robust sensors including 3D Air Search Radar and Links 16 and 22 (encrypted, jam-resistant tactical data links) to support and develop the common operating picture. They will also be capable of embarking Task Group Command Staff and have all required Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance systems to support the Task Group Commander. 

The ships will be armed with two close-in weapons systems (CWIS), four naval remote weapons systems and four manual .50 calibre heavy machine guns. In addition, the ship is fitted with a Nixie Towed Torpedo Decoy system, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detection and monitoring system, and CBRN citadel and filtration systems.

They will have significant magazines allowing them to carry re-supply ammunition, including missiles and torpedoes, for the fleet and will also be capable of embarking up to two CH-148 Cyclone helicopters with hangar facilities to conduct second-line maintenance of fleet helicopters.

JSS can carry up to 60, 20-foot-long containers. Other future RCN fleet ships, including Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) and Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPV), will also be capable of embarking mission-specific containers.

“It’s feasible that a JSS could carry several types of mission containers and be able to assist a CSC or AOPV in changing roles using containerized mission systems in-theatre vice having to return to our naval bases in Esquimalt, B.C., or Halifax,” Cdr Henwood says.

“JSS will also be a strategic asset capable of supporting strategic sea lift for the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force.”

The JSS will also embark the RCN’s new sea-to-shore connectors. These modular self-propelled barges can carry quantities of mission-essential equipment, stores and personnel to and from shore quickly. When not in use they stored or transported like standard shipping containers and have multiple uses and configurations. They are engineered to be assembled from the JSS itself.

Apart from all the state-of-the-art systems and technologies of a modern naval vessel, the JSS will be home to a core crew of 240 personnel.

The JSS will have full medical capabilities, including an X-ray machine, blood bank, laboratory facilities, surgical bay, full dental facilities, and two ICU beds. It will normally sail with a Medical Officer, Physician’s Assistant, Medical Technician, Dental Officer, and Dental Technician. This team can be augmented with surgical teams for specific missions such as humanitarian and disaster relief.  

The JSS will have accommodation facilities that are of similar set up to the current fleet, with a Wardroom, Chiefs and POs mess as well as Master Sailor and Below Mess. Accommodations are based on single cabins for senior officers and the Coxswain, double cabins for officers and Chiefs, quad cabins for Petty Officers and six-person cabins for the remainder of the crew. Heads and wash places are built to be gender neutral with individual shower and toilets stalls. There will be two gyms, a library, computer lab, training and conference room and a dedicated barber shop.

“Each department will have a dedicated office and there will be many Defence-Wide Area Network stations throughout the ship to ensure excellent access for all crew,” says Cdr Henwood.

“JSS will also have a robust Wi-Fi network for quality of life that has access ports throughout the ship to ensure connectivity to sailors’ personal devices and enable future wireless technologies.”

The future Protecteur-class Joint Support Ships are a tribute to the dedication and sacrifices of generations of sailors who served aboard the former Protecteur-class auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels of the same names. As such, the new ships are carrying on the battle honours of the ships that came before them.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/maple-leaf/rcn/2023/10/future-protecteur-class-joint-support-ships-provide-vital-capability-to-the-rcn.html

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It’s all about Latvia

Nov 6, 2023 | Army Reserves, Combat Capability, Digital Army, Leadership, News, Operations

It’s all about Latvia

by Chris Thatcher
 

“The operational art is about being unpredictable,” Lieutenant-General Joe Paul noted as he closed a lengthy discussion about Operation Reassurance and the Canadian-led multinational enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group in Latvia. “It’s about offering your opponent some dilemmas. The more agile and nimble you are, the less predictable you are.”

Faced with an understrength force, gaps in critical capability, and allies with their own national priorities, the Army Commander has adopted an approach to brigade building that draws on the Army’s history — in the Balkans and elsewhere — to develop a flexible force with advanced capability that can be projected into Eastern Europe. “If you want a new idea, read an old book,” he joked.

“Agility” is the aim of a force structure he is contemplating for Forward Land Forces Multinational Brigade Latvia (MNB-L) that is gradually taking shape, but it could well be the keystone to the building process itself.

In June 2022, the government reaffirmed its intent to lead the battle group in Latvia that until recently involved 10 nations. At the same time, the government committed to working with NATO allies to generate and stage the necessary forces to surge that formation to a combat capable brigade. 

Since then, Paul and Army senior leaders, including those in Task Force Latvia, have been engaging with battle group partners and other nations in NATO to determine just how they meet that commitment.

When Canada first assumed the lead for the battle group in 2017, there were four such formations — in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — and contributors were readily available to step forward. In 2022, four more were established in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Now, all eight battle groups are in various stages of scaling to the strength of brigades. Contributing partners to Latvia such as Slovakia and Spain are now either hosting their own brigade or assuming the leadership of one.

“The force generation pressure [across NATO] is real,” said Paul.

The expanded number of brigades has resulted in a realignment of the Canadian-led formation, he added. Spain remains a contributor for the time being, Italy and Poland will continue to provide tanks and other capabilities, and Denmark has now come aboard. 

Discussions among partners have solidified the overall structure for the brigade and its three manoeuvre battle groups. “The big muscle movements are taking shape, but we’re not yet down to the sub-unit level in terms of who is going to be providing what,” said Paul. “For instance, we are now drilling into who’s going to be generating what for the indirect fires battalion. We have a little more clarity regarding combat engineers and reconnaissance squadrons. There are still a few moving parts, but we have that rudimentary skeleton, and there’s going to be additional engagement.”

Two of the three battle groups will be mostly generated by Canada. As is currently the case, one will be stationed in Latvia and augmented by allies, though with “a little more Canadians” than the current multi-nation composition, he said.

The other will be delivered by the three light infantry battalions of the Canadian Mechanized Brigade Groups, and surged into theatre for six- to eight-week periods for intensive training in Latvia or elsewhere in Europe.

“This is how we’re going to be mitigating the force generation pressure. It is going to be just-in-time delivery, show the flag, and then back to your garrison,” said Paul. “The people serving with the three light infantry battalions, reinforced by Reserves, are going to be on super short notice to go to Latvia. 

“This is nothing new. We did that with Bosnia in the old days. This is what our allies, including the Americans, are doing now.”

Brigade headquarters will be stationed in Latvia for a full year, and the battalions will cycle through every six months or surge as required.

“The light infantry battalion that we have on standby can be projected on the other side of the planet in a heartbeat,” he said, noting the reach of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC-177 Globemaster. 

That surge into Europe will be in conjunction with annual rotating deployments to the U.S. Army’s Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) in Fairbanks, Alaska or the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Johnson, Louisiana.

“I want to have a versatile instrument that will be capable of operating in multiple types of environments,” said Paul. “Young soldiers serving in these light infantry battalions, over a window of five or six years, will have seen a little bit of Europe, a little bit of Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and the Bayou in Louisiana.”

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A member of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, transmits a message on the radio during a road move in Light Armoured Vehicle 6.0 during Operation Fortress in Latvia in September 2023. Photo: Cpl Lynette Ai Dang

URGENT ACQUISITION

Since MNB-L was first announced, Paul has acknowledged that if there are gaps in its capabilities, Canada, as the lead nation, will have to fill them. In the weeks before he spoke with Canadian Army Today, funding for some of those was finalized, he said, “and we know how much national treasure is going to be allocated to us when it comes to enabling appropriations for the brigade.” 

He wouldn’t reveal the number but said, “I’m super happy with the amount that we’ve been given.”

The details of a procurement strategy for fast-tracking the equipment are still being developed by the Army and Assistant Deputy Minister, Materiel (ADM(Mat)).

Paul’s top priority remains C4ISR, that critical blend of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. The Army’s Land C4ISR program of six distinct projects is well underway, but the brigade will require the necessary sensors, communication systems and battlefield management suite far sooner than the program can deliver. “I need to deliver something quick, fast and furious,” he said.

Paul is also requesting more anti-tank weaponry, ground-based air defence systems, and counter-uncrewed aerial systems (C-UAS). The Army is already pushing through three urgent operational requirements (UORs) to acquire portable anti-X missile systems (PAXM), air defence and CUAS for dismounted troops, fixed sites, and vehicles within the next 12 to 24 months.

But the brigade itself will need layered air defence systems capable of defeating threats and providing protection to the MNB-L, including loitering munitions, he said.

The funding includes more ammunition, some of which will be pre-positioned in theatre, and a plan to refurbish the armoured Heavy Support Vehicle System logistic trucks that have been parked in Longue-Pointe, near Montreal, since the end of the Afghanistan mission. “Ukraine has clearly shown us that you need to protect your supply chain,” he said.

Funding has also been secured for a tactical vehicle for the light infantry battalions. Exactly what that will be is still to be determined, Paul noted, but as part of the Light Forces Enhancement (LFE) project, the Army did some testing with a light tactical vehicle with the light battalions to inform its mobility requirements. Last year, the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, conducted weapons tests from the vehicle with a .50 calibre heavy machine gun, 40 mm grenade launcher, and BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided) anti-tank missile.

The plan is not to fast-track LFE so much as deliver a precursor to what the LFE vehicle might be. “LFE, as a major capital project, cannot deliver quickly enough,” he said. “So, what the Army and ADM(Mat) are going to be proposing is that, as we keep working on the major capital project, [we] speed up a slice of it.” 

The consequence of concentrating limited Directorate of Land Requirements staff on the delivery of UORs will likely be a slowdown in some of the major capital projects, Paul acknowledged. While that might frustrate companies invested in those projects, he argued the UORs need to be seen as an investment. The Eastern European theatre will provide “an amazing laboratory where the Army can fine tune and test. Whatever kit we end up getting [for the brigade], we’re going to have the opportunity to work with it … and that will certainly inform the follow-on major capital projects and our doctrine.”

As part of its digital transformation, the Army will also seek to push forward much of the experimentation that has been conducted by various units, especially in Petawawa, as the brigades rotate through Latvia.

Other Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) capabilities likely to be deployed in the coming years include a tactical aviation capability from the Air Force and a Role 2 medical facility.

The build up of personnel and equipment will be conducted in phases over the next three six-month rotations, to reach full capability in 2026. Camp Adazi in Latvia has limits in what it can absorb, so the CAF will need to look more broadly across the region, Paul noted. As much as possible, the goal will be to pre-position equipment and surge personnel as required. 

“We need to have these logistical nodes spread out,” he said, to minimize optimal targets. Latvia “is only the tip of the bayonet. When I’m looking at [the theatre], I’m looking at the whole continent.”

That broad perspective applies to training as well, he stated. The Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre is exploring ways to deliver a validation training program in theatre that would replace some large exercises like Maple Resolve, and capitalize on the training venues of countries in the region.

“Since I see the Russian threat as being out there for probably a good decade, if not more, we need to ensure that when you go back for your third, fourth or fifth tour in Latvia, it is going to be interesting, challenging, and appealing,” Paul said.

52962319801_ccb567d26d_o-1024x682.jpg

Members of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, in Exercise Lethal Weapon to prove the concept of adding anti-armour capabilities to the MRZR-D to increase the battlefield efficiency of light infantry battalions. Photo: Pte Jennifer Froome

RESERVE STRENGTH

Like many of its allies, the CAF is struggling with personnel shortages. The Army is about 7,000 people short of its establishment, 4,000 in the Reserve Force and 3,000 in the Regular Force. Surging the light battalions as required will mitigate some of the strain on the Army, and ensure capacity at home to support government responses to floods, forest fires and other domestic emergencies. But Paul also intends to draw heavily on Reserve members.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the Reserves are going to play a critical role,” he said. “I’ve asked my division commanders to aim at having 20 percent Reservists on every rotation.” 

The Army is adjusting its Managed Readiness System to the reality in Latvia, and at the Combined Army Conference in September, division and brigade leaders “fine-tuned who’s going to be providing what, when and where between now and 2026,” said Paul. With the number of Reservists needed to meet the required troop presence, the Army is looking to increase the pre-deployment time each Reservist will have with their training unit. “Ideally, we can get to up to six months of pre-deployment integration, much like we did in the Afghanistan period.”

6 Canadian Combat Support Brigade (6 CCSB), especially, will require significant augmentation. Units such as the 4thArtillery Regiment (General Support), which could be deploying a CU-172 Blackjack troop to Latvia in 2024, will be the destination for many of the urgent air defence and counter-UAS capabilities needed in theatre. 

“The intent is certainly to invest into that regiment,” said Paul. “The command team there knows it’s coming.”

The commander of the 5th Canadian Division is looking at the affiliation among Regular force and Reserve units in eastern Canada to directly bolster some of 6 CCSB’s capacity.

“There will come a point where we need to ensure that it is crystal clear between the Regular Force and the Reserve Force who is supporting who,” he said. “The key thing to me is to ensure that we have a level of predictability.”  

Nothing is cast in stone, and events in Europe could rapidly change the picture — and the planning — but for the next two years, domestic missions aside, most of the Army’s focus will be in one direction. 

“It’s all about between now and the end of 2025,” said Paul. “Because by early 2026, we need to be ready to roll.” 

 

https://canadianarmytoday.com/its-all-about-latvia/

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6 minutes ago, BeaverFever said:

It’s all about Latvia

Nov 6, 2023 | Army Reserves, Combat Capability, Digital Army, Leadership, News, Operations

It’s all about Latvia

by Chris Thatcher
 

“The operational art is about being unpredictable,” Lieutenant-General Joe Paul noted as he closed a lengthy discussion about Operation Reassurance and the Canadian-led multinational enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group in Latvia. “It’s about offering your opponent some dilemmas. The more agile and nimble you are, the less predictable you are.”

Faced with an understrength force, gaps in critical capability, and allies with their own national priorities, the Army Commander has adopted an approach to brigade building that draws on the Army’s history — in the Balkans and elsewhere — to develop a flexible force with advanced capability that can be projected into Eastern Europe. “If you want a new idea, read an old book,” he joked.

“Agility” is the aim of a force structure he is contemplating for Forward Land Forces Multinational Brigade Latvia (MNB-L) that is gradually taking shape, but it could well be the keystone to the building process itself.

In June 2022, the government reaffirmed its intent to lead the battle group in Latvia that until recently involved 10 nations. At the same time, the government committed to working with NATO allies to generate and stage the necessary forces to surge that formation to a combat capable brigade. 

Since then, Paul and Army senior leaders, including those in Task Force Latvia, have been engaging with battle group partners and other nations in NATO to determine just how they meet that commitment.

When Canada first assumed the lead for the battle group in 2017, there were four such formations — in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — and contributors were readily available to step forward. In 2022, four more were established in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Now, all eight battle groups are in various stages of scaling to the strength of brigades. Contributing partners to Latvia such as Slovakia and Spain are now either hosting their own brigade or assuming the leadership of one.

“The force generation pressure [across NATO] is real,” said Paul.

The expanded number of brigades has resulted in a realignment of the Canadian-led formation, he added. Spain remains a contributor for the time being, Italy and Poland will continue to provide tanks and other capabilities, and Denmark has now come aboard. 

Discussions among partners have solidified the overall structure for the brigade and its three manoeuvre battle groups. “The big muscle movements are taking shape, but we’re not yet down to the sub-unit level in terms of who is going to be providing what,” said Paul. “For instance, we are now drilling into who’s going to be generating what for the indirect fires battalion. We have a little more clarity regarding combat engineers and reconnaissance squadrons. There are still a few moving parts, but we have that rudimentary skeleton, and there’s going to be additional engagement.”

Two of the three battle groups will be mostly generated by Canada. As is currently the case, one will be stationed in Latvia and augmented by allies, though with “a little more Canadians” than the current multi-nation composition, he said.

The other will be delivered by the three light infantry battalions of the Canadian Mechanized Brigade Groups, and surged into theatre for six- to eight-week periods for intensive training in Latvia or elsewhere in Europe.

“This is how we’re going to be mitigating the force generation pressure. It is going to be just-in-time delivery, show the flag, and then back to your garrison,” said Paul. “The people serving with the three light infantry battalions, reinforced by Reserves, are going to be on super short notice to go to Latvia. 

“This is nothing new. We did that with Bosnia in the old days. This is what our allies, including the Americans, are doing now.”

Brigade headquarters will be stationed in Latvia for a full year, and the battalions will cycle through every six months or surge as required.

“The light infantry battalion that we have on standby can be projected on the other side of the planet in a heartbeat,” he said, noting the reach of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC-177 Globemaster. 

That surge into Europe will be in conjunction with annual rotating deployments to the U.S. Army’s Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) in Fairbanks, Alaska or the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Johnson, Louisiana.

“I want to have a versatile instrument that will be capable of operating in multiple types of environments,” said Paul. “Young soldiers serving in these light infantry battalions, over a window of five or six years, will have seen a little bit of Europe, a little bit of Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and the Bayou in Louisiana.”

53204379587_bfbdba9617_o-1024x576.jpg

A member of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, transmits a message on the radio during a road move in Light Armoured Vehicle 6.0 during Operation Fortress in Latvia in September 2023. Photo: Cpl Lynette Ai Dang

URGENT ACQUISITION

Since MNB-L was first announced, Paul has acknowledged that if there are gaps in its capabilities, Canada, as the lead nation, will have to fill them. In the weeks before he spoke with Canadian Army Today, funding for some of those was finalized, he said, “and we know how much national treasure is going to be allocated to us when it comes to enabling appropriations for the brigade.” 

He wouldn’t reveal the number but said, “I’m super happy with the amount that we’ve been given.”

The details of a procurement strategy for fast-tracking the equipment are still being developed by the Army and Assistant Deputy Minister, Materiel (ADM(Mat)).

Paul’s top priority remains C4ISR, that critical blend of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. The Army’s Land C4ISR program of six distinct projects is well underway, but the brigade will require the necessary sensors, communication systems and battlefield management suite far sooner than the program can deliver. “I need to deliver something quick, fast and furious,” he said.

Paul is also requesting more anti-tank weaponry, ground-based air defence systems, and counter-uncrewed aerial systems (C-UAS). The Army is already pushing through three urgent operational requirements (UORs) to acquire portable anti-X missile systems (PAXM), air defence and CUAS for dismounted troops, fixed sites, and vehicles within the next 12 to 24 months.

But the brigade itself will need layered air defence systems capable of defeating threats and providing protection to the MNB-L, including loitering munitions, he said.

The funding includes more ammunition, some of which will be pre-positioned in theatre, and a plan to refurbish the armoured Heavy Support Vehicle System logistic trucks that have been parked in Longue-Pointe, near Montreal, since the end of the Afghanistan mission. “Ukraine has clearly shown us that you need to protect your supply chain,” he said.

Funding has also been secured for a tactical vehicle for the light infantry battalions. Exactly what that will be is still to be determined, Paul noted, but as part of the Light Forces Enhancement (LFE) project, the Army did some testing with a light tactical vehicle with the light battalions to inform its mobility requirements. Last year, the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, conducted weapons tests from the vehicle with a .50 calibre heavy machine gun, 40 mm grenade launcher, and BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided) anti-tank missile.

The plan is not to fast-track LFE so much as deliver a precursor to what the LFE vehicle might be. “LFE, as a major capital project, cannot deliver quickly enough,” he said. “So, what the Army and ADM(Mat) are going to be proposing is that, as we keep working on the major capital project, [we] speed up a slice of it.” 

The consequence of concentrating limited Directorate of Land Requirements staff on the delivery of UORs will likely be a slowdown in some of the major capital projects, Paul acknowledged. While that might frustrate companies invested in those projects, he argued the UORs need to be seen as an investment. The Eastern European theatre will provide “an amazing laboratory where the Army can fine tune and test. Whatever kit we end up getting [for the brigade], we’re going to have the opportunity to work with it … and that will certainly inform the follow-on major capital projects and our doctrine.”

As part of its digital transformation, the Army will also seek to push forward much of the experimentation that has been conducted by various units, especially in Petawawa, as the brigades rotate through Latvia.

Other Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) capabilities likely to be deployed in the coming years include a tactical aviation capability from the Air Force and a Role 2 medical facility.

The build up of personnel and equipment will be conducted in phases over the next three six-month rotations, to reach full capability in 2026. Camp Adazi in Latvia has limits in what it can absorb, so the CAF will need to look more broadly across the region, Paul noted. As much as possible, the goal will be to pre-position equipment and surge personnel as required. 

“We need to have these logistical nodes spread out,” he said, to minimize optimal targets. Latvia “is only the tip of the bayonet. When I’m looking at [the theatre], I’m looking at the whole continent.”

That broad perspective applies to training as well, he stated. The Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre is exploring ways to deliver a validation training program in theatre that would replace some large exercises like Maple Resolve, and capitalize on the training venues of countries in the region.

“Since I see the Russian threat as being out there for probably a good decade, if not more, we need to ensure that when you go back for your third, fourth or fifth tour in Latvia, it is going to be interesting, challenging, and appealing,” Paul said.

52962319801_ccb567d26d_o-1024x682.jpg

Members of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, in Exercise Lethal Weapon to prove the concept of adding anti-armour capabilities to the MRZR-D to increase the battlefield efficiency of light infantry battalions. Photo: Pte Jennifer Froome

RESERVE STRENGTH

Like many of its allies, the CAF is struggling with personnel shortages. The Army is about 7,000 people short of its establishment, 4,000 in the Reserve Force and 3,000 in the Regular Force. Surging the light battalions as required will mitigate some of the strain on the Army, and ensure capacity at home to support government responses to floods, forest fires and other domestic emergencies. But Paul also intends to draw heavily on Reserve members.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the Reserves are going to play a critical role,” he said. “I’ve asked my division commanders to aim at having 20 percent Reservists on every rotation.” 

The Army is adjusting its Managed Readiness System to the reality in Latvia, and at the Combined Army Conference in September, division and brigade leaders “fine-tuned who’s going to be providing what, when and where between now and 2026,” said Paul. With the number of Reservists needed to meet the required troop presence, the Army is looking to increase the pre-deployment time each Reservist will have with their training unit. “Ideally, we can get to up to six months of pre-deployment integration, much like we did in the Afghanistan period.”

6 Canadian Combat Support Brigade (6 CCSB), especially, will require significant augmentation. Units such as the 4thArtillery Regiment (General Support), which could be deploying a CU-172 Blackjack troop to Latvia in 2024, will be the destination for many of the urgent air defence and counter-UAS capabilities needed in theatre. 

“The intent is certainly to invest into that regiment,” said Paul. “The command team there knows it’s coming.”

The commander of the 5th Canadian Division is looking at the affiliation among Regular force and Reserve units in eastern Canada to directly bolster some of 6 CCSB’s capacity.

“There will come a point where we need to ensure that it is crystal clear between the Regular Force and the Reserve Force who is supporting who,” he said. “The key thing to me is to ensure that we have a level of predictability.”  

Nothing is cast in stone, and events in Europe could rapidly change the picture — and the planning — but for the next two years, domestic missions aside, most of the Army’s focus will be in one direction. 

“It’s all about between now and the end of 2025,” said Paul. “Because by early 2026, we need to be ready to roll.” 

 

https://canadianarmytoday.com/its-all-about-latvia/

A few interesting tidbits revealed here but I wonder how realistic it is and if the Army could really keep up that level of operations indefinitely these days. The reader comment at the article’s original site seems to have doubts also.  

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Canada now has its own history of the Afghan war — good luck finding a copy

Author says he experienced pushback from the military and government over his unvarnished account of the war

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Nov 10, 2023 4:00 AM EST | Last Updated: November 10
A Canadian soldier on a dawn patrol southwest of Kandahar City in March 2010.
A Canadian soldier on a dawn patrol southwest of Kandahar City in March 2010. (Murray Brewster/The Canadian Press)

The first comprehensive, in-depth history of Canada's war in Afghanistan, written largely in real time over several years by a military historian, was quietly (some might say reluctantly) published last summer by a federal government printer.

Average Canadians, the soldiers who fought there and the families of those killed in action will have a hard time getting their hands on a copy, however.

The history was commissioned by the Canadian Army and the Department of National Defence (DND), and written while the war was still raging by Royal Military College historian Sean Maloney.

Only 1,600 copies of the history (800 English and 800 French) have been produced — much to the dismay of veterans and the retired general who initiated the project.

The Canadian Army in Afghanistan, an exhaustive three-volume history, covers the entire dozen-plus years the Canadian Forces fought the Taliban in the landlocked, impoverished South Asian country.

Maloney's work is Canada's first comprehensive history of the war in Afghanistan. Unlike previous volumes commissioned by the military on Canada's experiences in the First and Second World Wars, it's not an "official" military history (official histories tend to examine more than just army operations).

Almost a decade of delays

Embedded with Canadian troops for months at a time during the five-year combat mission in Kandahar and the subsequent three-year training mission in Kabul, Maloney was given inside access to soldiers, commanders and documents that journalists who covered the war did not share.

He has produced a highly detailed, clear-eyed, occasionally visceral account of the war on the ground that in some cases provides new insights into key battles and events.

CBC News was able to borrow copies from the Canadian War Museum.

A major portion of Maloney's research and writing was completed after Canada's withdrew from combat operations in Kandahar in the summer of 2011. The expectation at the time was that the history would be published around 2014, upon the completion of the mission to train Afghan soldiers.

Armed soldiers walk down a narrow passageway between earth walls.
A Canadian soldier with the 1st RCR Battle Group, the Royal Canadian Regiment, chases a chicken seconds before he and his unit were attacked by grenades shot over the wall during a patrol in Salavat, southwest of Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 11, 2010. (Anja Niedringhaus/The Associated Press)

But publication was held up for almost a decade by reviews and debates within DND and the Canadian Forces about Maloney's often blunt assessments — his criticism of Canada's allies and other government departments, his questioning of some decisions by senior commanders.

The work was published with an extensive legal disclaimer: "The views expressed in this publication are entirely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, policies or positions of the Publisher, the Editor, the Government of Canada, the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces or any of its affiliates."

In an interview with CBC News, Maloney acknowledged he faced pushback from some quarters of the defence department about what he had written. Overall, though, he said he was happy and relieved to see the work finally in print.

No plans to offer the history for sale

In a media statement, the army said it hopes to one day produce a downloadable electronic version. That plan is still in the formative stages.

But there are "no plans to support the public sale of hard copies" because the King's printer "is not structured to be a public publishing enterprise," the army said.

The history was commissioned in 2007 by former lieutenant-general (later Liberal MP) Andrew Leslie, who was army commander at the time.

Maloney said he was given a very specific set of instructions and took the assignment only after being granted academic and editorial freedom.

In an account backed up by Leslie, Maloney said he was told that the history "cannot be army propaganda. It has to come from somebody who understands us but is not directly, deeply involved in the politics of the organization."

Maloney's mandate was later renewed by now-retired lieutenant-general Peter Devlin, who took over as army commander after Leslie's departure.

Maloney said his task was to tell the story of Canada's mission in Afghanistan in isolation, and not through a wider lens including the actions of allies, as was done with previous official military histories of Canada's involvement in the two world wars.

"We need to frame what we did there on our terms, not through the lens of our allies," he said. "And it's important we do that for who we are, and what we want to be about [as a nation]."

In an author's note, Maloney wrote about how important it is for Canada to "take responsibility for our history."

Canada 'written ... out' of war's history, author says

He described the work as an unapologetic Canadian approach to the war.

"The existing literature in the United States and in the United Kingdom dealing with the war in Afghanistan has thus far virtually written Canada out of history," Maloney wrote in the author's note.

"Worse, American and British failures are now assumed to be Canadian failures, as well. Where Canada or the Canadian Army is mentioned, it is cursory in nature, derisive in tone, or both."

A woman in a Canadian military uniform weeps while saluting.
A tearful Sgt. Renay Groves salutes during the final Remembrance Day ceremony at Kandahar Air Field.(Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Maloney said he started experiencing pushback within DND and the military after he handed in his first draft of the manuscript following the end of the combat mission.

CBC News asked for an interview with the commander of the army for an explanation of the concerns. The request was denied.

'Uncomfortable truths'

In a written statement, the army said it recognized that "the commentary, views, and opinions expressed in Dr. Maloney's work may present as uncomfortable truths to some."

But the army said it did not try to suppress or derail the project.

Maloney said there was "a steady drum beat" of concerns and qualms in military and department circles about his work. Eventually, he said, the project was shuffled within the military to the Canadian Defence Academy Press, an internal government printer that publishes scholarly and professional works.

"There are a number of people that tried to step in and interfere with my editorial prerogative," said Maloney, who pointed out that Leslie, the commander who commissioned his work, had left the army by the time he finished his first draft.

"And then another colonel stepped in to say I can't contradict an established Canadian position, for political reasons. And I said yes I can. I have academic freedom on this and editorial control."

Maloney would not describe the "established Canadian position" he was accused of contradicting.

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance responds to a question during a news conference Thursday May 7, 2020 in Ottawa.
Chief of the Defence Staff Jonathan Vance responds to a question during a news conference on May 7, 2020 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Maloney said that several years ago, he took the list of specific complaints about his work from within the department and the Canadian Forces to the chief of the defence staff at the time, now-retired general Jonathan Vance. He said Vance dismissed 90 per cent of the complaints.

A few years later, publication was moved once again to the Army Publishing Office. There, Maloney said, he discovered that portions of his text had been rewritten without his permission; he reversed the changes.

In an interview with CBC News, Leslie praised the final work. He said it differs from the official histories of previous wars, which were published many years after the conflicts had ended, when "just about everybody involved had died [of] either old age or disaster."

He said the history should serve as a tool to help the army learn lessons from its past operations and campaigns.

"You had to tell the whole narrative and decide for future generations what was relevant," Leslie said. "In terms of editorial independence or independence of thought, the last thing you want is for senior officers to try and influence the outcome. Revisionist history — that was not the intent."

A soldier in combat kit climbs down a wall in a mud-walled compound.
Pvt. Richard Boutet, 38, of Quebec City searches a compound as the owner Fazel Mohammad, left, looks on during an operation in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan on June 30, 2011.(David Goldman/The Associated Press)

The disadvantage of publishing such a history so soon after the conflict has ended, he said, is that the author might come to "conclusions or assumptions" that may be superseded by new facts and information down the road.

Leslie said he's only heard rumblings about the project since leaving the military and was mystified by the delay in publication.

"I found that extraordinarily disappointing, not fully understanding really what the causes were," he said. "There was perhaps some jealousy from some other academics or military officers [with a vested interest in Afghan war history]. I honestly don't know."

Veterans vexed by limited distribution

The limited distribution and the delays in publication are a source of frustration for veterans who served in the war. Dozens of them have reached out to CBC News since the summer to complain.

Retired master-corporal Nathan Kehler is passionate about military history and helps run Project 44, an online interactive site that digitally maps Canadian Second World War campaigns using battle diaries and archival maps.

Kehler, a veteran of Afghanistan, said he's disappointed that Maloney's work was buried in bureaucracy.

"It's disappointing," he said. "Our history deserves to be told, deserves to be in a proper historical context, and a three-volume set like this deserves to be out in the public and in libraries."

He said he has a hard time explaining to his children what he did in Afghanistan because society is so steeped in narratives from previous conventional wars, where the transition from war to peace was less ambiguous.

Some people may be uncomfortable with what Maloney wrote, Kehler said, but that's no excuse for downplaying or interfering with his work.

"Being a soldier means you have to be uncomfortable sometimes. It means you have to be accountable," he said.
 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/afghanistan-canada-canadian-forces-history-1.7023872

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On 11/7/2023 at 10:53 PM, BeaverFever said:

A few interesting tidbits revealed here but I wonder how realistic it is and if the Army could really keep up that level of operations indefinitely these days. The reader comment at the article’s original site seems to have doubts also.  

What the Army needs is much different than what it gets...i know a lot of people are grasping onto the theory that the conservatives will sort out this mess....I've waited my entire career of 34 years for that to happen, so i will not be holding my breath... There is just to many things to fix within the country, that will cost bils to properly fix and PP has promised to spend what is available just not possible to do it all on a tight budget...it would require Justin spending to get us out, and that is not going to happen...

Those light Inf Bn s are already being augmented by medium weight Brigade groups, not sure where that tidbit came from but it is wrong....the bulk of the next roto in is coming from 2 RCR Gagetown...no light BN there...

To bad we don't have a base in that area, like Germany where they could be resupplied out of...once again they will depend on Montreal and regular flights in and out of Latvia, no sustainable over the long run, and all that prepositioned equipment is going to need someone to look after it...Lots of good idea fairy thoughts here with no info to back up how they are going to do that...Manpower burn out is going to be a huge thing...it would be less intensive if Canada built a base and manned it for 3 to 5 year postings...like Germany..

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