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CANADA’S ARMY IN IRAQ

CANADA’S ARMY IN IRAQ

Special Forces Take Out Daesh

On a dark night during the battle for Mosul a group of Daesh militants, who only recently had been killing, torturing and terrorizing the local citizenry, tried to make their escape into the blackness of the desert as Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers moved in to liberate the city, but it was Canadian Special Forces soldiers, who had been training the Kurdsin the finer points of warfare, that spotted the fleeing Daesh using their superior night vision technology – the Kurdish soldiers had seen nothing.

And, as was recounted to CBC radio producer, Sarah Lawrynuik in a radio documentary called “70K to Mosul”, it was the Canadian soldiers that took out the fleeing Daesh in the black of the night to the amazement of the Kurds, who later gleefully showed the reporter photos and a video of the resultant corpses. The Peshmerga were reluctant to go on record about the involvement of Canadian Special Forces troops in the encounter because Canada is technically only playing a “training and advisory” role there but their admiration and appreciation for what Canada’s Army is doing to support them was hard to hide.

And, as you will read in our interview with LGen Marquis Hainse, former Commander of Canada’s Army and currently Canada’s military representative to NATO in this issue, the leaders of Canada’s Army are also proud of the job that Canadian soldiers are doing there in Iraq and in other hot spots around the world as well. Unfortunately, stories like the one recounted above are not always conveyed to the Canadian public the way they should be but let’s be clear, Canadians should all be proud of the professionalism and bravery of Canada’s men and women in uniform.

For CDR’s interview with Hainse, we sent Senior Staff Writer, Joetey Attariwala to Poland where late last summer Canadian troops were deployed for Operation Reas­surance and in a wide ranging discussion over there Hainse talked about re-energizing NATO and re-equipping the Army with new vehicles like TAPV and the LAV 6.0. By the way, CDR appreciates LGen Hainse standing in for LGen Paul Wynnyk, the current Com­mander of the Army, who because of a very high tempo as he settles into his new post, was not able to provide an in-depth inter­view for CDR’s Report on the Army.

CSC BIDDERS MUST NOT BE SILENCED

Recently CDR was very disappointed to see the Canadian Government attempt to muzzle not only the media but also companies bidding on very significant programs tore-equip Canada’s military.

CSC (Canadian Surface Combatant) is a multi-billion dollar program to build new ships for the Royal Canadian Navy and in a technical briefing on Oct. 27, government officials tried to explain a clause that seemed to be an effort to prevent the Canadian public from learning what prospective bidders have to offer for what will be the biggest procurement in Canadian history.

Quite simply, government bureaucrats MUST NOT be allowed to silence bidders and deny the Canadian public the opportunity to learn about the capabilities these companies have to offer for what will be the most significant military procurement in decades, just for their own convenience.

When pressed to clarify the bizarre requirement banning advertising and publicity, Lisa Campbell, Assistant Deputy Minister, Defence & Marine Procurement at PSPC, tried to explain that the bidding companies would in fact be free to advertise and talk about their product and she went on to say that if there was any confusion on the matter they would go back to the bidding companies and make this clear.

However, in the course of reporting on various aspects of CSC, CDR has approached a number of companies who have in fact declined to talk about their company’s initiatives on the program because they frankly have been spooked by this government directive. So, the bottom line is that, if the Canadian public is to learn all the details about what is being offered for this important program, government bureaucrats must make it abundantly clear NOW that CSC bidders are in fact free to talk about and advertise their capabilities. Rest assured, CDR will be watching closely.

OZ PROGRAM MIRRORS CSC

By the way, speaking of CSC, CDR recently sent Senior Staff Writer, Joetey Attariwala to Australia to take a close look at the new Na­vantia-designed ship, based on the Spanish F-100 frigate that was just launched by the Royal Australian Navy. Navantia is a qualified bidder for CSC and the Australian program may have very close parallels with the Cana­dian requirement so look for our full report from down under early in the New Year.

BELZILE WAS A GREAT CANADIAN

Finally, we would be remiss if in this space we did not acknowledge the passing of a great Canadian, Charlie Belzile. LGen (Ret) Charles Belzile was a friend, a fellow Habs fan, a former Commander of the Canadian Army, and a member of the Order of Canada. But, with all his honours and accomplishments he was always humble and was the soldier’s soldier. I will remember him for his sense of humour and the time he took, as Commander of Mobile Command, to speak to a young reporter anxious to get an interview around a deadline. Charlie will be fondly remembered by his many friends.

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