Month: March 2016

What the Russians left behind in Syria
Front Lines

What the Russians left behind in Syria

Now that Vladimir Putin has officially ended the Russian bombing campaign in Syria—where the main targets of his bombs were Syrian rebels, not ISIS—it has come to light that some of their normally secretive special operations forces have been committed to battle against the Islamic State itself. What actually happened was that during the battle of Palmyra a Russian Spetsnaz soldier within their new special forces command (KSO) was killed in battle, left behind, and suffered the indignity of having photos of his body and equipment splashed all over the internet. It’s not the type of photo you see very often, but it has made it impossible for the Russian’s to continue denying that their special forces are on the front lines of the conflict. What’s interesting about the gear is how a...
On this date: April 2016
On This Date

On this date: April 2016

    1 APRIL 1734 Canada’s first lighthouse goes into operation at Louisbourg, the French fortress on Cape Breton Island. 2 APRIL 1973 Canada’s first national lottery is announced; it raises $15 million toward the $1.5 billion 1976 Summer Olympics. 3 APRIL 1669 King Louis XIV of France orders all Canadian males 16 to 60 to train with the militia. 4 APRIL 2003 Cpl. Bernard Gooden, serving with the U.S. marines, is the first Canadian killed in the Iraq war. 4-5 APRIL 2008 Fire destroys the Quebec City Armoury, historic home of les Voltigeurs de Québec. 6 APRIL 1885 In bitter cold, Gen. Frederick Middleton leads a militia column 355 kilometres to the Métis stronghold at Batoche, Sask. 7 APRIL 1868 Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a...
Humour Hunt

Humour Hunt

This sea story is from Vince Leah, also of Winnipeg: During the Second World War operations in the South Pacific, an alert Royal Navy destroyer scooped up a U.S. sailor who had fallen overboard from his cruiser. The grateful American captain sent over a huge tub of ice cream. Later in the day, the U.S. captain signalled the destroyer: “Why are you steaming so close?” The answer: “We’re waiting for another of your men to fall overboard.”
Uncategorized

Humour Hunt

Here is a naval yarn from John MacLean, Georgetown, Ont.: Engaged in NATO exercises off Bermuda, the Canadian aircraft-carrier Bonaventure overtook an old American submarine recharging its batteries on the surface. The sub was making about eight knots, close to her maximum speed. The Bonnie flashed a signal to the sub: “We are making 18 knots. Would you care to accompany us?” The sub signalled back: “We are preparing to submerge. Would you care to accompany us?”
As ISIS loses ground, terror attacks will increase
Front Lines

As ISIS loses ground, terror attacks will increase

There’s no shortage of pundits willing to explain what’s happening in the world right now – the Middle East in flames, refugees inundating Europe, and a steady stream of terrorist atrocities across the world. The latest of these attacks killed dozens across two separate sites in Belgium earlier this week. ISIS has claimed responsibility and that is no surprise. “Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station in the center of the Belgian capital Brussels, a country participating in the coalition against the Islamic State,” said the ISIS statement. “Islamic State fighters opened fire inside the Zaventem airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom ...
Two trigger fingers
My Story

Two trigger fingers

From the Department of High-Stakes Charades Twenty-five years ago, Richard Austin served in the Persian Gulf War aboard HMCS Athabaskan. One of few people in Canada trained on the ship’s newest weapons system, he found himself in a predicament We had only two weeks to get ready after Prime Minister Brian Mulroney decided to send a naval task group to the Persian Gulf in August 1990 after Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army invaded Kuwait. The problem was that our ships weren’t exactly ready to go, so they threw all sorts of new equipment on board, including a close-in weapons system called the Phalanx. Civilian and military people worked around the clock to get the ships ready, and they basically did away with the paperwork and the bureaucracy. My equipment was new and state-of-the-a...
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