In this episode of Vanguard Radio, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about the US to increase troops deployment to Afghanistan, the Prime Minister stance on asylum seekers crossing the border into Canada and the Oceans Protection Plan.
U.S. President, Donald Trump recently endorsed the option to increase troops to Afghanistan, but has not provided any specific numbers.
In referring to their presence in Afghanistan, the president said he won't be bound by deadlines and the eventual withdrawal will be determined by "conditions on the ground," which is something American military commanders have long supported.
This conflict, which started with President George W. Bush and continued during the Obama administration, has now been taken over by Donald Trump - spanning three US presidents.
Trump said he thought about pulling out of Afghanistan entirely, but decided against it.
Total withdrawal would be a signal of defeat in the face of Iran, Pakistan and Russia, all of which are vying for influence in the region, said a former commander of Canadian special operations troops.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking at a news conference earlier this week, addressed the issue of asylum seekers crossing the border into Canada.
He said, "If I could directly speak to people seeking asylum, I'd like to remind them there's no advantage. Our rules, our principles and our laws apply to everyone."
In the first two weeks of August, more than 3,800 people walked over the border into the province, compared to about 2,900 who crossed throughout all of July.
The Prime Minister stressed that anyone seeking refugee status will have to go through Canada's "rigorous" screening process.
Oceans Protection Plan
In November 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Oceans Protection Plan. With an investment of $1.5 billion dollars, the plan came about due to a collaboration between the federal government and Canadians to protect Canada's coasts and waterways.
Canada is known for the longest coastline in the world, and because of the size of territory to cover, this plan was developed to raise the bar on marine protection.
Through the Oceans Protection Plan, Canada’s new direction on marine safety now includes four priority areas:
1. Creating a world-leading marine safety system;
2. Protecting and restoring Canada’s marine ecosystems;
3. Strengthening partnerships with coastal and Indigenous communities;
4. Investing in science for decision-making
Over the next five years, more than 50 initiatives associated with these priority areas are being launched under the Plan. They will include faster response to oil spills, removing abandoned boats across the country, reducing vessel noise to protect whales, exploring new ways to work together with Indigenous communities, and researching how oil behaves when spilled in marine environments.
For more information on this, please check out this article that was submitted to Vanguard from Transport Canada - http://www.vanguardcanada.com/2017/08/21/the-oceans-protection-plan-canadas-new-direction-to-protect-its-coasts/
Thanks for joining us on Vanguard Radio for today.
In this Vanguard Radio, CAF to deploy team for NATO Air Policing, Lockheed Martin completes its Industrial Regional Benefits commitments and Thales has been awarded the AJISS contact for up to 35 years.
Four CF-18 Hornets and over 130 Canadian Armed Forces personnel will participate in NATO Air Policing in Romania from September to December 2017.
NATO Air Policing is part of Operation REASSURANCE.
The CAF team is made up of members from the 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron of 4 Wing Cold Lake, 2 Air Expeditionary Wing and 17 Wing Winnipeg.
The new Air Task Force that is being to Romania will augment the Romanian Air Force’s capability to preserve the integrity of its airspace.
Lockheed Martin announced recently, the completion of its Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) commitments, valued at $1.4 billion for the Aircraft Capability Project – Tactical (ACP-T) program.
Lockheed Martin met its IRB requirements one year ahead of schedule, for SMEs, aerospace and defence, for specific regional projects in the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and Western regions,” according to a press release.
As part of its fulfillment, Lockheed Martin engaged many Canadian companies and universities by funding research and development for innovative technology products and services to “ignite a culture of innovation,” according to Charles Bouchard, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Canada.
Since 1960, the CC-130J Super Hercules have served the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in many missions in the Arctic, search and rescue and humanitarian efforts.
Thales has been awarded, potentially the largest In-Service Support (ISS) contract in Canadian history. This contact includes the refit, repair, maintenance and training of both the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) and Joint Support Ships (JSS), commonly known as AJISS.
The contract covers an initial service period of eight years for up to $800 Million CAD, with options to extend services up to 35 years, for a total value of $5.2 Billion CAD.
To fulfill this contract, Thales will work closely with the RCN's support facilities and personnel.
This contract will generate economic benefit of more than $250 Million CAD in Research & Development for Canada over its 35-year duration.
The company has also provided ISS to navies in Singapore, New Zealand, USA, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Papua and New Guinea, and Tonga.
In this episode, we cover the news about the return of two Halifax-class frigates from the Asia-Pacific region, National Peacekeepers Day and the 9th annual Military Police National Motorcycle Relay is on the way.
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Winnipeg and Ottawa returned recently to Canada after a five-month deployment in the Asia-Pacific on POSEIDON CUTLASS 17.
POSEIDON CUTLASS 17 provided an opportunity for over 430 personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces to engage in numerous exercises with regional partner navies, like the Royal Australian Navy, the Chilean Navy, the French Navy, the Indian Navy, and the United States Navy, to name a few. These exercises were done at sea but the RCN also took part in key events and engagements in 14 different ports across 10 countries during its deployment.
This type of deployment helps in providing options for the Government of Canada, in the event a Canadian response is needed in the region; as was the case last year when the HMCS Vancouver provided relief after the earthquake in New Zealand.
Participation in exercises of this nature delivers valuable training and improved interoperability, while advancing the readiness of personnel.
“Through their impressive and professional efforts, they have reinforced Canada’s commitment to our regional friends and partners as we strengthen our mutual understanding and interoperability to ensure our collective success in the future,” said Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.
The deployment showcases Canada’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific region as outlined in Canada’s new defence policy, Strong Secure Engaged.
National Peacekeepers' Day
Since its establishment in 2008, National Peacekeepers' Day has provided an opportunity for Canadians to express their gratitude and respect to those who serve in international peace and security operations.
For the past 60 years, more than 125,000 Canadian personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police forces, as well as Canadian diplomats and civilians have served as peacekeepers around the world.
The greatest single loss of Canadian lives on a peacekeeping mission occurred on August 9, 1974. On that fatal day, all nine Canadian personnel on a United Nations-marked Canadian
transport aircraft were killed when their plane was shot down by Syrian missiles. In recognition of this loss, August 9 was designated as National Peacekeepers' Day.
Since 1948, 122 Canadian peacekeepers gave their lives in service of peace.
The Military Police National Motorcycle Relay
The 9th annual Military Police National Motorcycle Relay (MPNMR) began on July 30th in Victoria, British Columbia, where participants will ride across Canada to raise funds for visually impaired children.
This relay is the world’s longest annual motorcycle relay with a distance of more than 10, 000 kilometres from coast to coast. Stops will be made at Canadian Armed Forces establishments and points of interest along the way.
It is expected that a total of 300 riders will participate, each driving a leg of the relay (some for a day, some for a province and some from coast to coast) as the Relay makes its way across the country to arrive St. John’s, Newfoundland, on August 23.
With what started out initially years ago for Military Police motorcycle enthusiasts, the Relay is now open to anyone (military or civilian) who wishes to ride. Since its start in 2009, the Relay has raised more than $480 000 on behalf of the Military Police Fund for Blind Children and other charities.
If you are interested in participating or even to take a look at the route, please go to https://sites.google.com/site/militarypolicemcrelay/home
In this episode of Vanguard Radio, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about the news about Saudi Arabia using Canadian made military vehicles in clashes with militants, the former defence minister, Peter MacKay regrets not signing the U.S. ballistic missile defence program and the purchase of new machine guns for the Canadian Armed Forces.
The Government of Canada is investigating reports that Saudi Arabia is using Canadian made military vehicles in clashes with militants.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland is concerned and has asked officials to look into this matter.
The statement from Freeland’s department says, “If it is found that Canadian exports have been used to commit serious violations of human rights, the minister will take action.”
Last year there was an outcry when the Trudeau government proceeded with a $15 billion deal to sell light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. This agreement was approved by the Harper government.
Many called on the Liberals to cancel the deal given Saudi Arabia’s widely criticized human rights record. But the former Foreign Affairs minister Stephane Dion said he couldn’t block exports unless the armoured vehicles were being used against innocent civilians, something he had no evidence of. In speaking to the House of Commons back then, he said that he would “reverse the decision” if such equipment was used to commit human-rights abuses.
Conservative foreign affairs critic Peter Kent has already called on the Liberals to terminate export permits if there is “hard evidence” that the Canadian weaponized armoured vehicles are being used against Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority.
Threat from North Korea
Former defence minister Peter MacKay says he regrets not signing on to the U.S. ballistic missile defence program when he had the chance. This policy was a matter that was debated by the former Conservative government, and the previous Liberal administration.
The former defence minister in speaking with CBC News said, "We share a great deal of intelligence with the United States and if they're alarmed, we should be alarmed." Not being involved in the program is "a huge problem.”
The threat from North Korea has grown significantly recently as they’ve demonstrated the capability for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles that could potentially reach North America.
The Harper government was in favour of joining the Bush Administration's missile defence shield but made no attempt to buy into the program. Even the Senate defence committee has twice recommended that Canada join this program but in June the Trudeau government opted not to lift the ban on involvement.
MacKay said he believes very few people in the general public "grasp the gravity" of the current situation and the technological advances that have been made by the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
New C6 Machine Guns
The Canadian government will purchase over 1,100 new C6A1 FLEX General Purpose Machine Guns from Colt Canada at just over $32.1 million, according to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
The current C6 machine guns were procured over 30 years ago. Some have been removed from service due to wear and tear and others are reaching the end of their service life, according to the Canadian military.
The new machine guns are designed to be carried by soldiers or attached to vehicles such as the new TAPV. It will feature a durable polymer butt stock instead of the current wooden style. Also, soldiers will be able to attach pointing devices and optical sighting systems to the new weapon to help increase their operational effectiveness.
The contract includes related equipment such as a cleaning and repair kit, spare parts, and sling to carry the weapon.
The first deliveries of the new C6 is expected in September 2018 with final deliveries by June