29 October 2006

Defence round-up - Afghanistan

1. Al Queda document contains threats to Canada.

Translated by the SITE Institute, the document states, in part: "They will either be forced to withdraw their forces or face an operation similar to New York, Madrid, London and their sisters, with the help of Allah."

Canada is described as having a fanatical adherence to Christianity.

2. New navy helicopters to have troop-lift capability.

Canadian Press is reporting a change to the specs for Canada's new shipborne helicopters. The Sikorsky S-92 variants will enter service in 2009. The change will allow the helicopters to be converted rapidly to carry soldiers.

Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier describes the change as being related to potential use from an amphibious assault ship being acquired for the navy.

3. TF 1-07 drug testing allegedly showed 16-18% used illegal substances; Army questions news reports.

While defence officials are neither confirming nor denying the reports, some news media are reporting that 16-18% of urine samples taken from soldiers currently training for the next rotation to Afghanistan have tested positive for traces of illegal drugs, including amphetamines ("speed"), heroine and marijuana.

4. Roadside blast kills NATO soldier.

One NATO soldier was killed and eight wounded in a roadside blast on Sunday in Afghanistan.

5. NATO change of command.

On Wednesday, Canada will relinquish command of the NATO forces in the Kandahar region to the Netherlands.

6. Canadians continue reconstruction/humanitarian missions in Afghanistan.

The officer pictured is Captain Dave Muralt from the Provincial Reconstruction Team.

At one point, Captain Muralt was the public affairs officer at 5 Wing, Goose Bay.

Also mentioned in the story linked above is Captain Howard Chafe, possibly the same Howard Chafe from St. John's who served with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and, among other things, hosted a radio program aimed at local civilians during a tour in Bosnia. It wouldn't be surprising for that Howard Chafe to turn up in Afghanistan with the PRT.

How many Howard Chafes can there be in the army?