Defence Today

Defence Today

Military And Legion Respond To “Bosnia Without The Bullets”

by Ray Dick It started with a whimper, a dark omen on a weather radar screen that was tracking steadily from the southern U.S. towards the Canadian Great Lakes region, and ended with a crippling bang that caused half a billion dollars damage, at least 20 deaths and left more that a million people without heat, light and transportation in southeastern Ontario,Quebec and New Brunswick. This is Bosnia without the bullets," said one soldier, who recently returned from the former Yugoslavia, about the devastation he found in the Montreal area from the worst ice storm in recent history. The soldier was quoted by Chief of Defence Staff Maurice Baril, on one of several trips he made to areas devastated by the storm that struck in early January. More than 15,500 troops, including ...
Defence Today

Windsor’s Table Of Honor

by Tom MacGregor A bitter chill blew off the Detroit River as Legionnaires prepared to march to the Essex County War Memorial for the annual ceremony of remembrance in Windsor, Ont. The place where the Legionnaires gathered was Dieppe Gardens, a narrow waterfront park in the city’s downtown, across from the Detroit skyline. "Dieppe means a lot to Windsor," says Ontario Command’s Zone A-1 Commander Bill Smith while driving between various remembrance events in the zone. "It was our boys who got the worst of it." The reference is to the Essex Scottish, the Windsor-area militia unit now known as the Essex and Kent Scottish. The unit was assigned to Red Beach, the eastern flank of the disastrous 1942 raid by mostly Canadian forces on the main beach of the French town. Twenty min...
Defence Today

Swapping Military Jobs

by Ray Dick There was a storm raging on the North Atlantic when crew members of HMCS Calgary got the call. The Greek-registered bulk carrier ship Mount Olympus was foundering and in danger of sinking in heavy seas approximately 2,000 kilometres southeast of Halifax. The 30-man crew, most of them Romanians, wanted off. Among those preparing for the rescue mission as the Canadian ship raced to within helicopter range of the stricken vessel was United States Navy Lieutenant-Commander Bill Erhardt. The American was on the ship because he was participating in a Canadian Forces program that few Canadians have heard anything about. It’s called the Canadian Forces exchange program and at last count more than 180 Canadian Forces service personnel were involved in exchanges with armed fo...
Defence Today

Forever Comrades

by Dan Black reu’nion (-nyon) n. 1. reuniting or being reunited; reunited state. 2. social gathering, esp. of intimates or persons with common interest. Eighty-year-old Jim McDonald is in a pretty good mood when he swings his feet out of bed and plants them on his bedroom floor in Cornwall, Ont. It’s just after 8:30 in the morning: In a few hours Jim’s wartime buddy, Mac Cameron, will arrive in his Chevy station-wagon and the two will head over to pick up Jim’s younger brother, John Angus (Angie). The objective for all three on this rainy Saturday morning in June is the 49th annual Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders reunion, taking place an hour’s drive west in Brockville, Ont. Two days have been marked on the calendar for this social event but Jim, Angie and Mac w...
Defence Today

Reserves On Deck

by Bill Fairbairn Naval reserve crews are being challenged to show what they can do at sea aboard Canada’s newest warships. The 970-tonne HMCS Kingston was accepted by the navy late last year after completing her contractor sea trials off Canada’s east coast. She is the first of 12 general purpose maritime coastal defence vessels or MCDVs with minesweeping capabilities. The second MCDV, HMCS Glace Bay, was launched Jan. 23. Vice-Admiral Lynn Mason, commander of Maritime Command, is confident the Kingston-class warships "will give Canada’s maritime forces an enhanced operational capability and provide the naval reserve with a focused seagoing role." Built at Halifax Shipyard, the ships are being delivered to the navy by Fenco MacLaren Inc. of Nepean, Ont., the prime contra...
WATCH NOW
close-link