Defence Today

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...

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An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.