Author Topic: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty  (Read 259313 times)

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Offline Colin P

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #50 on: April 03, 2004, 11:01:00 »
I know it was not well-loved by the guys using it, and it‘s targeting aspect was limited. It was a good weapon when it came out, but we held onto it for to long and was obsolete compared to other systems also in service. If I remember correctly the gunner kept the crosshairs on the target and guided the missile onto target by a small thumb switch, although it‘s been 20 years since I tried the simulator.

Offline sledge

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #51 on: April 03, 2004, 11:44:00 »
That would sound about right for what I know of it. But in this case my knowledge is limited.

Offline 0tto Destruct

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #52 on: April 04, 2004, 21:39:00 »
If you think that the whole Hans Island thing is neat, wait a few years when the Northwest Passage becomes practicable for navigation. Get this, Canada says that it‘s internal waters, the rest of the world (mainly the US) says that it‘s actually an international strait. A trip through the NWP is about 7000kms shorter then going through Panama, so you can imagine that lotsof folks are keen to use it. Better yet we currently have -no- way to stop vessels from transitting it either. THATS going to be fun...

Offline ~RoKo~

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #53 on: April 04, 2004, 22:48:00 »
Quote
Better yet we currently have -no- way to stop vessels from transitting it either
Maybe we can ask nicely?

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2004, 05:39:00 »
Ummmm its called an airstrike if worse comes to worse...its amazing what firing CRV-7s from a CF18 will do to a ship.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
Former RCN Sailor now Retired

Danno

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2004, 11:58:00 »
Apr. 5, 2004. 09:27 AM

THE TORONTO STAR
 
EDITORIAL: Guarding the Arctic


Canada‘s sovereignty over Arctic waters is in danger of melting away as surely as the polar ice is succumbing to global warming. Within a decade or two, climatologists predict, the route through the Arctic archipelago could be navigable year-round.

That would create an irresistible shortcut for freighters and warships travelling between Europe and Asia. The ships could shave 7,500 kilometres and weeks off their journey by using the Northwest Passage instead of the Panama Canal.

What‘s currently an occasional passage soon could be deemed a strait connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Under the long-standing doctrine of freedom of the seas, it would be an international waterway open to any vessel, of any origin.

In fact, Russia and the United States already hold that view.

The prospect of oil tankers and leaky rustbuckets from all corners of the globe flooding through our pristine Far North is horrifying.

Despite much hand-wringing, the federal government under both Liberal and Conservative regimes has done a feeble job of asserting and safeguarding Arctic sovereignty over the decades. It never can find the money or resources needed to do the job properly.

"Our military presence in the Arctic is not exactly extensive. It virtually constitutes the largest demilitarized zone in the world," Martin Shadwick of York University‘s Centre for International Security told Parliament‘s standing defence committee last June.

In such a void, even symbolic exercises are significant. The longest one-way sovereignty patrol in Canada‘s history began last Thursday, when a 20-member team of reservist Canadian Rangers and soldiers set out by snowmobile from Resolute Bay, Nunavut, for a 1,300-km trek. They are to reach Alert, at the top of Ellesmere Island, next Monday.

 Their mission is to wave the Canadian flag over the disputed waters - but no more than that.

 They will steer clear of the Danish flag planted on tiny Hans Island, midway between Ellesmere Island and Greenland, a Danish territory. Canada and Denmark disagree about its ownership.

This summer, the frigate HMCS Montreal is to sail to Baffin Island for joint exercises with 200 soldiers and five helicopters. It will be the first large warship to conduct a sovereignty patrol in more than a decade. Another patrol is set for next year.

These are encouraging displays, but they are not nearly enough.

For example, the hulls of Canadian frigates and destroyers are too thin to be "ice-capable." We have only a handful of dedicated icebreakers and the military is still waiting for its new British-built submarines, which can cruise beneath the ice.

And we need to step up surveillance via satellites and overflights - technology that will cost millions.

We should tell the international community that the unique Arctic ecosystem needs the stewardship Canada can offer. Similarly, Australia was granted a custodial role for the Great Barrier Reef although it lies only partly within its waters.

Ottawa has neglected its northern border for too long. We must truly stand on guard over Canada‘s most remote regions.  :cdn:

Offline cheeky_monkey

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #56 on: April 05, 2004, 21:15:00 »
Quote
Denmark has four icebreakers to Canada‘s none, and five functioning submarines. Canada has four British reject subs that leak when under water.
Correction we do have ice breakers. CCG has a fleet of 17 icebreakers. Five are dedicated icebreakers and 12 are multi-tasked ice-strengthened vessels.

CCG Ice Operations Centres task icebreakers and guide the movement of marine traffic through ice.

Icebreakers
Des Groseillers
Henry Larsen
Lous S. St-Laurent
Pierre Radisson
Terry Fox

Icebreaker / Buoytenders
Ann Harvey
Edward Cornwallis
Georges R. Pearkes
Griffon
J.E. Bernier
Martha L. Black
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Sir William Alexander
Earl Grey
Samuel Risley

Ice Strengthened / Navaids Tenders
Simcoe
Tracy
Verité, Devoir, Vaillance

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2004, 05:30:00 »
"Correction we do have ice breakers. CCG has a fleet of 17 icebreakers. Five are dedicated icebreakers and 12 are multi-tasked ice-strengthened vessels."

Yes and the majority are tied up because of the lack of funds and have not sailed for quite sometime.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
Former RCN Sailor now Retired

Offline Colin P

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2004, 10:43:00 »
Quote
Originally posted by 2332Piper:
[qb] Yes, we have the icebreakers but, correct me if I am wrong, are they armed only with a rifle to keep the polar bears away? It‘s nice and dandy for us to wave our fleet of icebreakers to everyone, but if they are not armed, the best they can do is ask them politely to leave. [/qb]
Yes you are correct, one of the Coast Guard cutters I served on had a .303 Enfield still wrapped in cosmolene paper and stuffed under the Captain‘s bunk, we only took it out when we decommissioned the ship, wish I could have got my hands onto that rifle. All of the Icebreakers carry a hunting rifle for bear defence.

Apparently a couple of our Cutters on the East Coast were fitted with mounts for .50 cals for the Turbot wars. There is a strong lobby in the CCG against arming the vessels, some of the senior members do their best to block any attempt to do so. I used to be against it, but the world has changed and I think that at the very least, all major CCG ships should be equipped with at least 2x .50cal and provisions made during normal refits to add hardpoints for a larger weapon systems (40-75mm). These are often the only Government presence in the Northern Waters and should be able to show even some teeth and provide a support platform for RCMP, military boarding parties.

Danno

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Re: Largest Ever Arctic Exercise
« Reply #59 on: April 07, 2004, 14:38:00 »
Quote
I used to be against it, but the world has changed and I think that at the very least, all major CCG ships should be equipped with at least 2x .50cal and provisions made during normal refits to add hardpoints for a larger weapon systems (40-75mm). These are often the only Government presence in the Northern Waters and should be able to show even some teeth and provide a support platform for RCMP, military boarding parties.
I agree.

I believe it is high time we, as a nation, decide just where "Canada" truly is.  It seems to me that just as there appears to be "second class" citizens in a society, there also appears to be an analogous, cumulative attitude toward "second class" sections of this country.  

Hearts and minds; if â Å“no oneâ ? cares, what's the point in trying to keep it?

Popular opinion is how politicians stay in office.  On the other hand they also seem to do quite well when they play to large corporations.   So I suppose the fate of our northern hinterland hangs in the balance between  â Å“the will of the peopleâ ? and the ability of our government to make these lands open and legally accessible to big business.  If we don't, other countries will.

And then there are the environmental considerations...

Oy!


  :cdn:

Offline Bill Smy

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Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2004, 15:45:00 »
Denmark plants a flag on an obscure Arctic island, and boy, do we ever get serious about sovereignty. Have to do it in August because we don‘t have the capability to go north in the late fall, winter, or early spring.

Of course, any intrusion of Canadian territorial sovereignty would have to be in August,though,  otherwise we could accuse the enemy of ungentlemanly conduct by not playing by the rules.

A buddy of mine is going on this deployment. Why didn‘t they do this stuff when I was young? Even New Viking serials were run when I was too old to participate.

 http://www.forces.gc.ca/dcds/dir/dpdt/j7Ex/pages/exNarwhal_e.asp

BTW. I was a staff officer at FMCHQ in 1984 when the govenment ran a government-wide mobilization exercise (Boldstep 84). I recall one scenario where it set out that a Soviet military troopcarrying aircraft had crashed on one of the arctic islands. There were reports that there were survivors, but the enemy‘s intentions could not be determined. Boy what a puzzle. How long to get a commando down from Petawawa to Trenton, then to Winnipeg, then to Edmonton? How would this affect the air movement of troops to Europe, seeing we had such narrow windows on UK and German airfields, etc. Finally, one bright fellow suggested that we employ water bombers from the Alberta government, do a fly-over, drench them. The poor buggers would freeze solid, and we could deal with them the next spring. I don‘t recall the end decisions.
"I have ate of the King's salt and therefore I conceive it to be my duty to serve with unhesitating zeal and cheerfulness when and where my King or his government may think proper to employ me."

logau

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2004, 16:02:00 »
Another guy I know is going on the ex. He will report all the secrets of the mid night sun.

Signed

Sgt Dan McGrew (see more here)  http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/service_r_w/carry_on.html

Carry on!

It‘s easy to fight when everything‘s right,
And you‘re mad with the thrill and the glory;
It‘s easy to cheer when victory‘s near,
And wallow in fields that are gory.
It‘s a different song when everything‘s wrong.
When you‘re feeling infernally mortal;
When it‘s ten against one, and hope there is none,
Buck up, little soldier, and chortle;  
Carry on! Carry on!
There isn‘t much punch in your blow.
You‘re glaring and staring and hitting out blind;
You‘re muddy and bloody, but never you mind.
Carry on! Carry on!
You haven‘t the ghost of a show.
It‘s looking like death, but while you‘ve a breath,
Carry on, my son! Carry on!  
And so in the strife of the battle of life
It‘s easy to fight when you‘re winning;
It‘s easy to slave, and starve and be brave,
When the dawn of success is beginning.
But the man who can meet despair and defeat
With a cheer, there‘s the man of God‘s choosing;
The man who can fight to Heaven‘s own height
Is the man who can fight when he‘s losing.  
Carry on! Carry on!
Things never were looking so black.
But show that you haven‘t a cowardly streak,
And though you‘re unlucky you never are weak.
Carry on! Carry on!
Brace up for another attack.
It‘s looking like ****, but -- you never can tell:
Carry on, old man! Carry on!  
There are some who drift out in the deserts of doubt,
And some who in brutishness wallow;
There are others, I know, who in piety go
Because of a Heaven to follow.
But to labour with zest, and to give of your best,
For the sweetness and joy of the giving;
To help folks along with a hand and a song;
Why, there‘s the real sunshine of living.  
Carry on! Carry on!
Fight the good fight and true;
Believe in your mission, greet life with a cheer;
There‘s big work to do, and that‘s why you are here.
Carry on! Carry on!
Let the world be better for you;
And at last when you die, let this be your cry:
Carry on, my soul! Carry on!

Offline Bert

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #62 on: May 30, 2004, 14:18:15 »
I don't understand the problem.   The infrastructure is already there.

You got FOL Iqaluit, First Air, NWT Air, and Canadian North runs commercial flights north-south practically every day.   You've
got civilian comms up there from SSB radios, microwave backhauls, television braodcast to cable internet matches the
functionality of the South.   Air Baffin, Ken Boreak Air, Canadian North, First Air all run Otter aircraft to all the communities in
the eastern arctic.   Just think of the poor Danish after seeing 10,000 bright orange and yellow twin otters in formation for a
rock assault.     If each aircraft is loaded with the best of Canadian beer (the Danish are picky about good beer), fresh beef,
and large BBQs, then the rock will be ours in a few short hours.   Problem solved.   If you need another problem solved
just ask.

Offline WillyMethod

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #63 on: May 30, 2004, 16:13:34 »
Get all Aircraft Availible
Give them All some Means of Carrying Water
 and The Rest is History
Two Loudest Sounds:
Click when it should of went Bang
Bang when it should have went Click

Offline 0tto Destruct

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #64 on: June 13, 2004, 13:30:11 »
I'm gonna take the liberty and inject a few facts on this thread, before it gets silly. Realising your post was in jest, Bert, there are a few points I'd like to mention.

First off, despite a reliance on commercial charters up here to zip our rangers to and fro, they're not gonna get used for soveringty patrols, ever.

Second, 440 (Transport) Squadron in Yellowknife has four (count 'em) four Twin Otter aircraft, and they're rarely all operational (hence the reliance on charters). I've been up here almost a year, and I think they had them all ready to fly ONCE, and they couldn't because they were short on FE's.

Third, as the CF does not have ice-capable vessels. Two (maybe it's three) Canadian Coast guard vessels are cabable of sailing as far north of Hans Island, but they're only in the area during the fall/winter to clear ice for cargo ships/cruise vessels.

Last, the exercise itself is nowhere near Hans Island. It's going to be based out of the Cumberland Peninsula, which is on Baffin Island, not Ellesmere. Hans Island is in the Robeson Channel, close to CFS Alert.

Offline Bert

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #65 on: June 17, 2004, 23:38:46 »
Sorry Acorn, I was jesting mostly.

Seriously, the point I was making is that the civilian infra-structure seems more able in many respects and perhaps more responsive
than military transport infra-structure.  Given the need, you could move alot of equipment and personnel to various locations
surprisingly quickly if need be.  You may know of various installations already serviced or maintained by civilian contractors.  The
Rangers would definitely not be able to move around far from the Baffin or island shorelines but that was never the intention anyway.
Perhaps the eastern arctic has more inter-island links than the western side.  Dunno.

The only way to cover that large an area is by passive listening stations, radar, and  sat, air, surface and sub-surface surveillance.
The next step would a rapid deployment force that would involve military and civilian transport infra-structure and comms. 

I never found any information on Hans island and what the real context was for the incident.  Anyone know?



Offline 0tto Destruct

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2004, 14:23:00 »
Hey Bert,

You raised some interesting points.

Civilian air transport infrastructure up here is definitely more capable than the resources provided by 440 Sqn. Simply put, you have many competing air charter companies in the north, all of whom a) have more planes to work with, and b) follow civilian aviation rules, which are not as strict as the CF's. Moving large amounts of equipment is not an easy thing to do here. For one, many of the aircraft used here are pretty small, and moving an organised body of troops and associated equipment would be a pretty complex process. Also, the weather is a huge factor. Being snowed into (or out of) a community for a week or more is not unusual. ALso, as far as I know there is a charter company that owns a Hercules up here, but it's just the one. Available aircraft get a lot smaller after that. Resupplying of the communities is accomplished by ship, though it's done within a small timeframe due to ice limitations, and often require icebreaker support from the Canadian Coast Guard. Even that is seasonal.

As for moving Rangers around, I'll clarify something. Rangers are not a group of people that jet from community to community as a formed body. In fact, every community has a patrol of varying size, supervised by a ranger sergeant (who is a regular ranger that is basically voted into the position). 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (1 CRPG) is the unit that commands these patrols within CFNA. 1 CRPG consists of an HQ, a QM, and Ranger Instructors, who are all combat arms senior NCO's. These instructors will rotate between the communities. While there, they conduct training, pay the rangers, deliver equipment (ammunitions, rations, etc etc), and supervise patrols. It's the cheaper option, and even then flying individual Rangers costs hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

As for Hans Island, I'll direct you to this link: http://www.naval.ca/article/Heubert/The_Return_of_the_Vikings.html. Dr. Rob Heubert is one of Canada's foremost experts on northern issues. I'd recommend this article he wrote as a good overview. There is a lot of excellent information on the topic online you can access simply by googling it.

Cheers

Offline Garry

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2004, 20:05:50 »
Keep in mind that the rangers are not there to fight- they keep an eye on the activity in their area, and report if something untowards is noticed. As well, they'll provide area expertise and guiding services to regular troops.

Good bunch, the Rangers!

Offline Bert

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #68 on: June 19, 2004, 14:07:53 »
Another consideration is who would ever truly invade the North.  Theres not much there.  Likely the events Canada would need to respond to
is a severe environmental event, an invasion of epic proportions, or a small single event like Hans Island.

An invasion of the Canadian North I doubt would be seriously considered by anyone.  That kind of undertaking would require manpower
and equipment that would be hard to hide in the offending country and its transport to the north.  Theres time to deal with that.

An environmental disaster is a plausible scenario and that would require vast amounts of equipment for the civilian population
and thats a scenario for government disaster relief.

The other is a Hans Island like scenario.  Its in the political arena and who cares if 300 Danish marines land on the island.  What are they
going to do other than enjoy BBQs?  At the very worst, and I'm sure its been discussed, is the rapid deployment of a small cold weather
military unit to locations in the North.   If theres a plan for this kind of deployment, then the storage and location of equipment is
allocated and for the deployment of personnel.  Not a large force by any means.  The infra-structure is there is just is a process and a
plan made for this scenario.  Weather not only affects getting there but limits others from moving around too.

But the Hans Island scenario is political and sending Canadian troops may only aggravate a situation solvable by diplomats.  During the
Fish War of 1990s two CF-18s were parked in Iqaluit, Nunavut, over the duration of the diplomatic talks.   It wasn't much but I'm
sure Spain noticed activity in Canadian east coast bases.  It suggests too that future disagreements may be over resources and
challenge Canadian responsiveness.

Offline nULL

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #69 on: June 19, 2004, 22:41:35 »
It starts as an island, grows as two. Perhaps the Americans will want some next, or the Russians. As soon as the north becomes passable to freight carrying traffic, it's going to get a hell of a lot more valuable. Not just that, but it's OURS. The only time we are going to have to seriously dispute this is if we do it NOW, as it starts. Why aren't troops going to land on the island and plant our flag/scrawl anti-dane messages on the rocks?

Offline 0tto Destruct

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #70 on: June 19, 2004, 22:48:33 »
The only time we are going to have to seriously dispute this is if we do it NOW, as it starts. Why aren't troops going to land on the island and plant our flag/scrawl anti-dane messages on the rocks?

I'll tell you why, Null. We don't have a vessel capable of sailing that far North, and the island is too small to land an aircraft. Using one of our Twin Otters with ice skis isn't going to work, as the ice is too choppy around the island. We can't use a chopper, due to range restraints. Even if we were to sail to the island, the thing is shaped like a huge salad bowl. I don't know how in the hell the Danes got on the top of it.

My guess was mountain goats and sherpas, but my boss disagrees.  ^-^

Offline Bill Smy

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #71 on: June 20, 2004, 14:40:30 »
We don't have a vessel, but the Danes do. Tells us something.  :evil:
"I have ate of the King's salt and therefore I conceive it to be my duty to serve with unhesitating zeal and cheerfulness when and where my King or his government may think proper to employ me."

Offline nULL

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #72 on: June 20, 2004, 23:01:45 »
couldn't a vessel be used from DFO, an icebreaker for instance?

Offline Bert

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #73 on: June 21, 2004, 18:58:49 »
The problem may be broken into three parts; one, you have to create a surveillance system
to know who is trespassing, two, you need to have the resources (transport, equipment,
and manpower) to do something about it, and the three, is what are you REALLY going to do about
it.  

This is hypothetical but say there were 300 Danish marines transported by ice hardened
destroyer.   What are we going to do?  Fight them a NATO ally?  Sending 1500 Canadian military
personnel in response either by air or sea may not be the best political or tactical thing to do.  
Sovereignty of the North has to be maintained some other way.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2004, 19:02:20 by Bert »

Offline 0tto Destruct

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Re: Sovereignty Exercise
« Reply #74 on: June 22, 2004, 17:35:25 »
couldn't a vessel be used from DFO, an icebreaker for instance?

DFO doesn't have any vessels capable of that. If you're talking icebreakers, the Canadian Coast Guard is the only game in town.