Defence spending cuts puzzling

General Wayne Ayre, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said September 28 that the military is having difficulty coming to terms with proposed budget cuts. “There’s no way that you can take almost $1 billion out of the defence budget and not have an impact, so this is something that we’re wrestling with now,” he told a parliamentary committee. “Our people see the degrading declining security situation around the world and so trying to explain this to them is very difficult.” [node:read-more:link]

Senior RCAF officer fired

Colonel Leif Dahl, commander of 8 Wing at Trenton, Ontario, has been fired by the head of the RCAF, Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny. The terse announcement followed Dahl’s September 28 civilian court appearance on firearms charges arising from an off-base incident in August. He has been replaced by Colonel Leighton James, a former commander of 424 Transport 7 Rescue Squadron at Trenton. [node:read-more:link]

Pro-Russia NATO member?

Slovakia, a NATO member since 2004, is about to elect its fifth prime minister in four years and the apparent front-runner is Robert Fico, a Russian sympathizer who says “Ukrainian Nazis and fascists” provoked Vladimir Putin into invading Ukraine. Landlocked Slovakia has a 97-kilometre eastern border with Ukraine, which it has supported up to now. [node:read-more:link]

Whalen court martial setback

Commander Martin Pelletier, presiding over the court martial of Lieutenant-General Steven Whelan, was “annoyed” by a delay September 26 while lawyers argued for hours about the relevance of “embarrassing” emails. Whelan is alleged to have made “improper considerations” in evaluating a subordinate in 2011. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese defence minister out?

It’s reported that Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu and eight senior officials in his department’s procurement unit are being investigated for corruption. Li, who was appointed minister in March 2023 but has not been seen in public so far this month, led that unit from 2017 until 2022. [node:read-more:link]

Military Family Appreciation Day

15 Sept 2023 is designated Military Family Appreciation Day, and the Ministers of National Defence and Veterans Affairs issued a statement of support to Canadian military families. As an integral part of the Defence community, they bring their resilient spirit to each new posting, and strengthen the places in which they set down new roots. Military families represent Canadian values and embody the best of our country. (english and french messages) [node:read-more:link]

Japanese cabinet shuffle

New defence and foreign affairs ministers were appointed today by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a cabinet shuffle. Minoru Kihara, who has been serving on the national security committee, has replaced Yasukazu Hamada in the defence portfolio while Yoko Kamikawa was moved from the justice portfolio to replace Yoshimasa Yahashi at foreign affairs. [node:read-more:link]

Fleet Week 2023 ends

The Royal Canadian Navy’s commander, Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, is hopeful that this year’s Fleet Week in Halifax, which wound up September 10 after five days, will benefit overall military recruitment. “We’ve seen a recovery in terms of the number of applicants that are coming forward, but we need over 6,000 people to join the Canadian Armed Forces this year and so we’re watching the numbers quite closely and hope that we get to that target.” [node:read-more:link]

Allies thanked by former minister

Oleksii Reznikov, who was recently replaced as Ukraine’s minister of defence after overseeing his defending forces throughout Russia’s invasion, has thanked his country’s more than 50 international backers and asked them to support his successor. “Rustem Umerov is a competent and professional person capable of continuing the initiatives we have launched,” he writes. “Together, you will accelerate the moment of Ukraine’s victory.” [node:read-more:link]

DND facing “hard decisions”

While the full impact is obviously uncertain, the Department of National Defence will roll out spending cuts over the next three years and the Deputy Minister and Chief of the Defence Staff say it “will entail hard decisions.” The head of the union representing DND employees says reducing dependence on private-sector contractors and consultants should be an option. [node:read-more:link]

RCAF officer faces firearms charges

Colonel Leif Dahl, commander of RCAF 8 Wing and CFB Trenton since July 2022, faces a barrage of firearms-related charges near the Ontario base, where he has been temporarily relieved of command. Lieutenant-Colonel Matt Lederle is the acting wing and base commander. [node:read-more:link]


The civil trial of Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson on sexual assault charges was delayed today when the Ontario Superior Court judge was not able to preside. Formerly the head of Canadian Armed Forces personnel command, Edmundson has pleaded not guilty to charges of indecency and assault in an incident that allegedly happened in 1991. [node:read-more:link]

Edmundson pleads not guilty

Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson, former head of Military Personnel Command, pleaded not guilty in Ottawa August 8 to charges of sexual assault and indecency dating to November 1991. He opted for trial by judge only in the Ontario Court of Justice. [node:read-more:link]

Zelenskyy fires U.K. envoy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today dismissed Vadym Prystaiko, his Ambassador to Britain, evidently for suggesting that his leader had resorted to “unhealthy sarcasm” in thanking Defence Secretary Ben Wallace for the U.K.’s support. Wallace had said Ukraine needed to show gratitude, prompting Zelenskyy to reply that Wallace should “write to me and tell me how to thank him.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian nuclear protocols updated

Federal emergency protocols for dealing with fallout from the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe or other radiation sources are being updated, including measures toensure that the government continues to function. The updates are in response to Russian rhetoric during its invasion of Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]


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