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ATIP'ed Briefing Notes: CF mulling future evacuation plans

The Bread Guy

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Plucking Canadians out of the world's hot spots is a growing area of concern and study for military planners, who until a few years ago didn't have their own tools or the resources to carry out such missions.

Internal Defence Department documents obtained by The Canadian Press show that in the aftermath of the Libyan crisis, the Canadian military is examining not only its war-fighting skills, but its newly enhanced ability to quickly organize evacuation and rescue missions.

Planners have been quietly taking stock of the world's flash points and considering how to get military forces into those troubled regions, while at the same time smoothly getting civilians out of harm's way.

The evacuation of Canadians and other foreign nationals from Libya last spring, and the massive rescue effort from Lebanon in 2006, has brought a new focus — some would argue a new urgency — to such operations.

The Conservative government took a political hammering last winter with opposition parties expressing outrage over the fact over 200 Canadians hitched a ride out of the Libyan chaos with other countries.

Calls for an examination of the military's capabilities faded as the war to oust dictator Moammar Gadhafi settled into a bloody stalemate and the Harper government dispatched fighter bombers.

But internally at the Defence Department there has been angst about future evacuations, especially in light of expected budget cuts, suggest the documents obtained under Access to Information.

Among the most worrisome trouble spots is South Korea, where frequent and increasingly violent outbursts from the hermit kingdom in the North have military planners concerned and looking for guidance.

"With over 20,000 Canadian citizens resident in the (Republic of South Korea), in the event of a full-scale crisis (censored) the evacuation efforts required could significantly exceed those of the Lebanon evacuation," said a Nov. 30, 2010 briefing note prepared for Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

The note was prepared following an artillery exchange on Nov. 23 where North Korea fired over 170 rounds of artillery across the border into Yeongyeogn Island, which belongs to the south.

"A further North Korean attack or South Korean retaliation cannot be discounted. However, in the event of a military confrontation on the Korean peninsula, Canada would need to consider how best to respond." ....
The Canadian Press, 7 Nov 11

No shortage of discussion on the 2006 evacuation of Lebanon during some unpleasantness there:
http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/47725.0.html

I'm also checking with The Canadian Press to see if they're going to share said briefing notes with readers who may want to get some context themselves.  If it works like other outlets sharing such documents, I expect this:
:crickets:​
 
A

aesop081

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Quite the scoop there, CP ! In other news, man bites dog.

:boring:
 

Old Sweat

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This story is a blinding flash of the obvious. It is one of the things staffs do more or less on a routine basis. There are a number of factors including whether the environment is permissive or non-permissive, which is power point speak for whether whoever is in charge is willing to let us evacuate our citizens.

The tongue in cheek criteria we used to use to decide if a country had the potential to go bad and lead to an evacuation of Canadian nationals was if its name ended in a vowel, it was a prime candidate. Based on experience, a name ending with the the letter 'n' was also an indication of potential trouble.
 

Rifleman62

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The Conservative government took a political hammering last winter with opposition parties expressing outrage over the fact over 200 Canadians hitched a ride out of the Libyan chaos with other countries.

Manufactured rage from the usual idiots both in and out of parliament. Do you think many of the other 32 million Canadians really gave a rat's nose?

Canada should have the ability to do the mission. Now, with recent, no bid procurements, it has.
 

The Bread Guy

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Old Sweat said:
The tongue in cheek criteria we used to use to decide if a country had the potential to go bad and lead to an evacuation of Canadian nationals was if its name ended in a vowel, it was a prime candidate. Based on experience, a name ending with the the letter 'n' was also an indication of potential trouble.
Didn't know France was such a hot spot  ;)  Thanks for sharing that tidbit.
 

dapaterson

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milnews.ca said:
Didn't know France was such a hot spot  ;)  Thanks for sharing that tidbit.

And keep your eyes on Great Britain!
 

Matt_Fisher

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Whilst I believe while the Canadian government and its Canadian Armed Forces should provide support and a degree of security to Canadians living abroad, that ultimately some degree of personal responsibility lies with those citizens who've made the decision to live abroad.

Getting 20K citizens evacuated out of South Korea would tax even the combined assets of the world's current military superpower, let alone the modest assets that Canada would be able to bring to the table even with a pro-military spending government in a time of economic growth.
 

Old Sweat

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Canadians abroad are encouraged to register with the embassy in case it is necessary to contact them. One example would be in the case of a worsening situation.

To get into the hypothetical for a short while, in the case of a relatively well developed third world country such as South Korea, I suggest any evacuation would start with an appeal from the Canadian government to its citizens to leave voluntarily by normal civilian transport. This may be in the form of a warning that because of the eroding situation, South Korea is no longer considered safe. Note also, that Canadians need not return home, but could go to another country such as Japan, China or the Philippines.

As the situation worsened, certain precautions may be taken, including the preparation of a detailed contingency plan by the CF, the issuance of a warning order and the establishment of links with our Allies to facilitate positioning assets in case the situation continued to deteriorate. And the rest can be left to your sound military judgment to work out.

Again, this is purely a hypothetical case and I have absolutely no knowledge of planning, if any, that is underway. I have prepared contingency plans for evacuations in the past, but that was nearly two decades ago, and the sequence that was followed was about what I detailed here.
 

GAP

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Matt_Fisher said:
Whilst I believe while the Canadian government and its Canadian Armed Forces should provide support and a degree of security to Canadians living abroad, that ultimately some degree of personal responsibility lies with those citizens who've made the decision to live abroad.

Getting 20K citizens evacuated out of South Korea would tax even the combined assets of the world's current military superpower, let alone the modest assets that Canada would be able to bring to the table even with a pro-military spending government in a time of economic growth.

Just remember that if we are evacuating our citizens, you can be the US is also....now there's going to be a clusterf$%^.....
 

GK .Dundas

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GAP said:
Just remember that if we are evacuating our citizens, you can be the US is also....now there's going to be a clusterf$%^.....
And ............it will be done under fire.
 

Retired AF Guy

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Old Sweat said:
Canadians abroad are encouraged to register with the embassy in case it is necessary to contact them. One example would be in the case of a worsening situation.

To get into the hypothetical for a short while, in the case of a relatively well developed third world country such as South Korea, I suggest any evacuation would start with an appeal from the Canadian government to its citizens to leave voluntarily by normal civilian transport. This may be in the form of a warning that because of the eroding situation, South Korea is no longer considered safe. Note also, that Canadians need not return home, but could go to another country such as Japan, China or the Philippines.

As the situation worsened, certain precautions may be taken, including the preparation of a detailed contingency plan by the CF, the issuance of a warning order and the establishment of links with our Allies to facilitate positioning assets in case the situation continued to deteriorate. And the rest can be left to your sound military judgment to work out.

Again, this is purely a hypothetical case and I have absolutely no knowledge of planning, if any, that is underway. I have prepared contingency plans for evacuations in the past, but that was nearly two decades ago, and the sequence that was followed was about what I detailed here.

Good comment. My only critic is I wouldn't call S. Korea a "third world" country.

Also, I know that we use to have a manual B-GJ-005-307/FP-050/ - Non-Combatant Evacuations that dealt with emergency evacuations form foreign countries.
 

Old Sweat

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GK .Dundas said:
And ............it will be done under fire.
Not necessarily, although it is something that would be considered in planning the operation.
 

Old Sweat

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Retired AF Guy said:
Good comment. My only critic is I wouldn't call S. Korea a "third world" country.

Also, I know that we use to have a manual B-GJ-005-307/FP-050/ - Non-Combatant Evacuations that dealt with emergency evacuations form foreign countries.

I used the term "third world" advisedly as the term covers a very wide range. As for the manual, that came after my time. (I retired in 1994.)

Think back to the evacuations of communities threatened by forest fires this summer. The principles and procedures are roughly the same, we are dealing with frightened, disoriented civilians of varying ages and health who have suddenly abandoned their homes. Now throw in distance, the challenge of operating in foreign countries with different cultures, customs and languages and the possibility of interference by one or both of the combatant sides.
 

The Bread Guy

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Old Sweat said:
Think back to the evacuations of communities threatened by forest fires this summer. The principles and procedures are roughly the same, we are dealing with frightened, disoriented civilians of varying ages and health who have suddenly abandoned their homes. Now throw in distance, the challenge of operating in foreign countries with different cultures, customs and languages and the possibility of interference by one or both of the combatant sides.
Excellent comparison.  With some of the communities being evacuated due to forest fires (especially small, remote First Nations), though, the bits in yellow still apply.
 
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