Military & Paramilitary

Military and security prominent in U.S. budget plan

A $5.8-trillion budget plan released today by the White House reflects growing security and economic concerns at home and abroad, including $773 billion in defence spending, nearly 10 per cent more than eventually approved by Congress for 2021. The administration said the hike reflects ongoing overseas threats such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a growing risk of cyberattacks. Dedicated Veterans Affairs medical care funding also is part of the plan as is a four-per-cent increase to $813.3 billion in the national security envelope [node:read-more:link]

Russia launches attacks on Ukrainian cities

Explosions could be heard Wednesday in Kyiv, Odessa, and several other Ukrainian cities as Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the start of a “special military operation” against Ukraine, the scope of which wasn’t immediately clear. Just before dawn, residents of Kyiv were ordered into bomb shelters amid reports of incoming air attacks. [node:read-more:link]

Cadet’s uniform seized

The Canadian Armed Forces has confiscated the uniform of an officer cadet who, while on medical leave and pending his release from the military, called on personnel to disobey what he called an “unlawful order” to assist in distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Leslie Kenderesi was dressed in his uniform when he appeared at an early December anti-lockdown rally in Toronto and called the vaccine a “killer.” [node:read-more:link]

Spain wants Grand Banks search resumed

Canada is being urged by Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares to resume the search, weather permitting, for 12 crewmembers missing after a 50-metre trawler sank Feb. 15 off Newfoundland. The search, which involved two RCAF aircraft and a Coast Guard vessel, was called off late Feb. 16. Three crewmembers were rescued and the bodies of nine others were found at the site about 460 kilometres east of St. John's. [node:read-more:link]

UN peacekeepers killed

Three UN peacekeepers from Burundi have been killed in the Central African Republic amidst growing tension between government and rebel forces. The UN says the attack by unidentified assailants also injured other peacekeepers and could constitute a war crime. [node:read-more:link]

No military requested against protesters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that using the military to end the anti-vaccination protest which has paralyzed the capital’s downtown core and spread into nearby neighbourhoods is “not in the cards” for the present. “One has to be very, very cautious before deploying military in situations engaging Canadians,” he said, explaining that the government had received no request for military intervention. [node:read-more:link]

Wounded Warriors in the civilian world

With some studies suggesting that as many as half of civilian first responders such as firefighters and paramedics suffer from psychological trauma linked to their jobs, Wounded Warriors Canada is collaborating with First Responder Health Services in B.C. on a new digital mental health platform. The partnership is taking its training Canada-wide. [node:read-more:link]

Army building levee in B.C.

Canadian Army engineers began working with civilian contractors today on building a 2km levee in the hope of preventing more flooding in the southern B.C. mainland city of Abbotsford after a dike failed during a major storm. The affected area is part of a lake drained for farming a century ago. [node:read-more:link]

Troops deployed to B.C.

An initial cadre of 300 Canadian Armed Forces personnel are being deployed to B.C. to assist with evacuation efforts necessitated by extreme flooding in the province’s south. Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said Nov 17 that as many as 4,000 personnel stand ready to be mobilized. [node:read-more:link]

Southern B.C. effectively shut down

Record rain and flooding in B.C., which has washed out rail lines and highways in the Lower Mainland and resulted in evacuations elsewhere, has exacerbated already tight supply chains. Most highways in and out of Vancouver have effectively been shut down, bringing truck traffic to a crawl and all rail traffic in and out of the Port of Vancouver has been halted. [node:read-more:link]

RCAF crews rescue stranded travellers

Hundreds of people trapped in their cars between mudslides on a south-central B.C. highway on the weekend have been evacuated by crews of Leonardo CH-149 helicopters from RCAF 441 Transport and Rescue Squadron at CFB Comox on Vancouver Island. [node:read-more:link]

EU officials urge RRF

The European Union’s top military and diplomatic officials say the crisis in Afghanistan should incent development of a globally-deployable rapidly reaction force. “Now is the time to act,” says Gen Claudio Graziano, EU military committee chair. His foreign policy counterpart, Josep Borrell, agrees that “sometimes there are events that . . . create a breakthrough, and I think that Afghanistan is one of these cases.” [node:read-more:link]

Military and police targeted by extremists

A declassified intelligence report says far-right extremists are “actively recruiting” past and present members of the Canadian military and police. Six of 17 situations reviewed in several countries involved Canadians cases in which “xenophobic and anti-government/anti-authority violent extremist groups openly recruit current and former military and law enforcement personnel.” [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19: Australia grappling with outbreaks

After recording its first COVID-19 case in more than a year, the Australian Capital Territory today began a one-week lockdown. The region around Canberra has a population of some 400,000. The country is struggling to contain the Delta variant as other large centres also have locked down and New South Wales Governor Gladys Berejiklian is prepared to use the military to ensure compliance. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. gets wildfire help

About 100 firefighters from Mexico have joined their British Columbia counterparts and elements of the Canadian Armed Forces in a concerted effort to contain 259 forest fires burning mainly in the province’s southern interior. A spokesperson for B.C. Wildfire Services says continued outbreaks suggest that “we are looking to definitely break some records this year.” [node:read-more:link]


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