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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old

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Air-Forceca-Ico Question for Mods and / or those who run the board.

September 26, 2014, 11:53:52 by shadreamer

I did a bit of research for a novel here a while back and to show my appreciation, I would like to offer complementary copies to the board and / or it's members for assisting me.  The novel came out in July and is doing very well.

Before I posted anything specific, I just wanted to see how you wanted to handle this (or not). If you don't want me doing this, I'll certainly respect your wishes.

I can send copies to the board mods or owner to hand out, or you can run a draw and I can mail paperbacks (or email ebooks) direct to the winners. Alternately, I can offer them to the people who responded to my thread.

To be clear, I'm not looking for any sort of endorsement or advertising. These will be gifts, pure and simple. If paperback, I can offer up to six copies. For ebooks, we can discuss.

Feel free to send me an email to my addy if you prefer.

Regardless of the decision, thank you for providing this forum.  :)

1 comment | Write Comment News

xx CAF undermanned; budget cuts to recruiting & training

December 16, 2014, 19:50:23 by MCG
Looks like the organization is falling far short of the assigned PY level because budget cuts are preventing recruiting and training from keeping pace with a high attrition.

Early retirement, weak recruitment mean the Canadian military is facing a shortfall of personnel
Lee Berthiaume
National Post
16 Dec 2014

The Canadian Forces is short hundreds of full-time members and thousands of reservists, due in part to an unexpected spike in the number of personnel hanging up their uniforms and difficulties attracting and training new recruits.

The shortfall, expected to last years thanks to recent cuts to military recruitment and training, threatens to undermine the Conservative government’s longstanding promise not to cut the size of the military despite billions of dollars in spending reductions since 2012.

The federal Conservative government has publicly promised to keep 68,000 full-time military members and 27,000 reservists in uniform, even as defence spending has fallen by about $5.5 billion since 2012.

The pledge was part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s demand that the Canadian Forces provide “more teeth and less tail,” though some believed the promise was more about politics than protecting the military.

But a Defence Department report recently tabled in the House of Commons showed a shortfall of nearly 900 regular force members and 4,500 part-time reservists at the end of March “due to higher than forecasted attrition and other factors.”

The report doesn’t provide any explanation for why military personnel were leaving at an unexpected rate, but it does note the Canadian Army has been hit particularly hard.

Senior military officers, including former army commander lieutenant-general Peter Devlin, had previously warned that the Afghan mission’s end, as well as deep cuts to training, would prompt many soldiers to head for the exit.

The army’s failure to meet its recruitment goals further contributed to the shortfall. Officials have previously said the military needs more than 4,000 new recruits each year to offset attrition and keep 68,000 full-time troops in uniform.

Meanwhile, the report notes recent changes to the reserve force have contributed to fewer part-time members in uniform. But recruiters for the air and navy reserves also had a hard time getting new recruits through the door for the third year in a row.

The naval reserve only met 21.3 per cent of its recruitment target over the year, and the air reserves met 9.1 per cent, though the air reserve did have some personnel come in from other parts of the military

“Maintaining the personnel capabilities of a large organization such as the Canadian Armed Forces requires a constant balance of recruiting new members and retaining trained personnel,” said Defence Department spokesman Zoltan Csepregi.

“The CAF experiences changes in the rate of attrition, or departures, from one year to the next,” he added. “CAF strength will be closely monitored to ensure that the CAF meets its domestic and international defence commitments as assigned by the Government of Canada.”

The Conservative government has been sensitive to reducing the size of the military after criticizing previous Liberal governments for doing exactly that in the 1990s. (The total number of personnel declined by one-third from a high of 120,000 in 1991 to a low of 80,000 in 2001.)

But as part of its efforts to cut costs, the government ordered 12 military recruiting centres across the country closed last year, which auditors had privately warned would hurt reserve units as well as aboriginal recruitment.

Those warnings appear to have been borne out, as the new report notes that “given recruiting and training capacity, it will take some years to recover” from the current shortfall. It adds that the military will try to “limit voluntary attrition” and address the shortfall “as soon as practical.”

David Perry, a defence analyst with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, believed defence spending reductions are at the heart of the problem.

Cuts to military training and operations are driving people out faster, he said, while the government has axed the recruiting system so it can’t keep up with higher than expected attrition.

Some have questioned the wisdom of maintaining the military at its current size given budget cuts of up to $2.5 billion and with the last Canadian soldiers due to return home from Afghanistan by the end of March.

One former defence chief, retired general Rick Hillier, warned last year that reducing the size of the military was the only way to ensure the force remained strong and stable. He said the number of full-time members should be reduced from 68,000 to about 50,000.

Meanwhile, the report says the Canadian military is hoping a recent spike in the number of Canadian personnel taken off the job to deal with physical and mental injuries will subside in the next few years.

More than 1,400 Canadian Forces members, or about two per cent of the regular force, had been deemed seriously ill or injured and taken off the job at the end of March. That is about double the number from 2011, but largely the same as last year.

Officials have blamed “lag effects” from the Afghan mission for the increase
Reducing the CAF will only ensure we are not ready for whatever comes next. 
20 comments | Write Comment

xx Former Veteran Dillon Hillier asking for your help

December 15, 2014, 17:25:06 by newshooter
I'm new to this forum. I'm from Calgary and I'm spreading the word for 1NAEF and Dillon Hillier.

Our friend Dillon is asking us to crowd-fund for night vision goggles.

Follow the link and read his story. Cheers.
24 comments | Write Comment

xx CF Combat camera

December 15, 2014, 16:11:03 by Baden Guy
From RCAF Twitter account:

Bravo Zulu to @CFCombatCamera for these outstanding photos of the Canadian Armed Forces at work in #2014!

0 comments | Write Comment

xx Steveston Lifeboat (aka. Artist's Life) foundered

December 12, 2014, 14:18:03 by Privateer
Steveston Lifeboat is a volunteer lifeboat owned and operated by John Horton, who was a Navy artist under the Canadian Forces Artists Program.  John is a great friend of HMCS Discovery (Vancouver's NRD), and frequently brought the Steveston Lifeboat to exercises run by Discovery. 

Last night, Steveston Lifeboat struck a breakwater on the Fraser River and foundered.  Fortunately it appears that there were no serious injuries.  Unfortunately the damage to the vessel appears to be extensive.  My condolences to John and his crew.

CBC article on the incident:

Photos of the Steveston Lifeboat:

DND article on John Horton and the Canadian Forces Artists Program:

One of John's paintings:

2 comments | Write Comment

clip Ontario Leg. passes motion for "Lieutenant Governor’s Military Service Pin"

December 12, 2014, 11:04:40 by
Not sure how binding such a motion would be, but here it is, for the record, agreed to by the Ontario Legislature yesterday - this, from Conservative MPP Steve Clark (Leeds-Grenville) who brought the motion to the floor:
I move that, in the opinion of this House, to express the gratitude all Ontarians feel, the Lieutenant Governor’s Military Service Pin should be established to recognize the sacrifices of Ontarians who have served, or are serving, in Canada’s armed forces with valour and distinction in conflicts around the world to uphold the values of liberty, justice and peace that we all hold dear; and that the pin should be designed to be worn on civilian clothing in order that those who have served may be recognized when they are not in uniform.

( .... )

It’s an honour to rise in debate of my motion to give Ontarians an opportunity to do something we can’t ever do enough, and that is to say thank you to the brave veterans and active duty members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Off the top, I want to say I’m honoured this afternoon, as a friend of my local regiment, to be wearing the regimental tie and pin of the Brockville Rifles. The Rifles—or the Brocks, as we call them at home—will mark their 150th anniversary in 2016, and I’ll have more to say about that later. For now, I’ll just say a proud “semper paratus” to Lieutenant Colonel Shawn Herron and all of the men and women under his command.

The freedom we enjoy today, including the ability of each of us, as MPPs, to take our place in the House, is only due to the sacrifices of those who have served throughout Canada’s history. Let there be no doubt, Speaker: Whenever duty has called, soldiers from communities large and small across Ontario have answered. From the trenches of World War I to Afghanistan and, today, in the Middle East, they have stood shoulder to shoulder with men and women from across Canada. Their sacrifices on battlefields around the world helped forge our proud nation’s independence and Canada’s international reputation as a country that has always been counted on to punch above its weight.

To people around the world, our proud maple leaf flag represents the values of peace, freedom and justice. We must never forget our veterans, the price they paid, and the blood they shed to uphold our values. As the recent tragic events in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu showed, our Canadian Armed Forces members are as much on guard protecting us at home as they are overseas. They are also the foundation upon which our democratic institutions have been built.

It is often said that we owe our veterans, and those men and women serving in uniform today, a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. No truer words were ever spoken. Speaker, we know we’ll never balance the ledger, but that does not absolve us of our responsibility and our duty to make regular installments by honouring their service. That’s why I’ve introduced this motion to create a Lieutenant Governor’s Military Service Pin. The pin would be a unique honour, in that it would be designed to be worn on civilian dress by Ontario veterans and active-duty Canadian Armed Forces members.

Since tabling the motion, I’ve had overwhelming support from constituents I meet in the community. While I’m proud to stand here today to champion this motion and ask for the support of my colleagues on all sides of the House, I have to give credit to the person who inspired it. That person is Roy Brown, a great friend, constituent, supporter, and one of those tireless advocates for veterans. He’s one of the most tireless advocates I’ve ever met in my life.

He’s a retired Ottawa police officer whose military involvement began in service with the HMCS Falkland sea cadets, then as a member of the Governor General’s Foot Guards, the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps C-class full-time reserve; and a regular member of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Roy is a 22-year member of the Royal Canadian Legion and he was instrumental in a wonderful project to restore Kemptville Cenotaph. Along with another veteran and outstanding North Grenville citizen, Owen Fitzgerald, he also created the Veterans Way Memorial Committee, a group that oversees a kilometre-long roadway of remembrance in Kemptville’s G. Howard Ferguson Forest Centre, and successfully re-created the one-acre Veterans Way Memorial Park ....
Way more discussion (including a few digs at the feds on the NVC) on the link above, or in the attached if the link doesn't work for you.
7 comments | Write Comment
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I will never allow anyone to divide this people once more into religious camps, each fighting the other.

- Adolf Hitler

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