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Malcolm

Refitting our Armed Forces and Coast Guard

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I thought it was time to have a seperate topic on the progress of filling the needs of our men and women who protect us. 

So, not quite like putting together and Aircraft, here is how you assemble a ship.

First Arctic patrol ship clicks into place at Halifax Shipyard

HMCS Harry DeWolf being fitted together ahead of planned summer launch

The Canadian Press Posted: Dec 08, 2017 9:28 PM AT Last Updated: Dec 08, 2017 9:28 PM AT

The Royal Canadian Navy's first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, is assembled at Irving Shipbuilding's Halifax Shipyard on Friday.

The Royal Canadian Navy's first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, is assembled at Irving Shipbuilding's Halifax Shipyard on Friday. (The Canadian Press)

The main structural components of the Royal Canadian Navy's first Arctic patrol ship have been assembled at the Halifax Shipyard.

Irving Shipbuilding said Friday that the bow section of HMCS Harry DeWolf was carried by heavy-lift transporters to a spot on the waterfront, where it is being fitted to the ship's centre and stern sections.

The ship is expected to be launched at the Halifax Shipyard next summer.

The front section comes out of the shipbuilding facility in Halifax.

The front section comes out of the shipbuilding facility in Halifax. (Canadian Forces)

However, some of the unionized workers at the shipyard voted earlier this week to give their bargaining committee a strike mandate.

Unifor Local 1 says about 700 of 800 unionized employees — including metal fabricators and electricians — voted on Sunday, with 99 per cent favouring a strike. Their contract expires at the end of this month.

Contract talks started early last month, with Irving requesting a conciliator after about four days at the table.

Exact number of ships to be built unknown

The previous Conservative government launched the national shipbuilding strategy in 2010, budgeting $35 billion to rebuild the navy and Coast Guard fleets while also creating a sustainable shipbuilding industry on both the east and west coasts.

Earlier this month, Irving said it won't know until at least next year whether it will be able to build six Arctic patrol vessels within the government's $3.5-billion budget, or only five.

 

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships—literally coming together! Mega-blocks of the future HMCS Harry DeWolf roll out to the land level area @IrvingShipbuild. The Harry DeWolf-class will deliver @RCN_MRC more capability in the north.http://ow.ly/mz1E30h6niX  #RCNavy #FutureFleet #NSS

 
 

 

The company says it has already committed $1.9 billion in spending on the patrol ship project.

"As the first ship of the class, having the future HMCS Harry DeWolf assembled at land level is a significant milestone," Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding, said in a statement.

"Canada's shipbuilding industry is being reinvigorated, and Canadians are benefiting from coast to coast to coast."

Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf's lengthy naval career included command of HMCS St. Laurent and HMCS Haida from 1939 until 1944.

The Bedford, N.S., man earned a number of accolades for his service, including an appointment as a commander of the Order of the British Empire and as an officer of the U.S. Legion of Merit. 

Bedford's DeWolf Park is also named in his honour. 

 

 

Bow mega-block of the future @HMCSHarryDeWolf on final approach to join with centre mega-block at #HalifaxShipyard #ShipsforCanada

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So what would be wrong with getting a proven aircraft such as the Eurofighter?  It has the two engines that we need our replacement fighters to have (Northern Ops) and fits in well with our NATO partners. https://www.eurofighter.com/news-and-events/2015/05/eurofighter-typhoons-role-in-nato-baltic-air-policing

https://www.eurofighter.com/the-aircraft

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Until Trudeau allows the Air Force to actually use fighter jets somewhere, anything they buy will simply be used for very expensive flying lessons.

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Bidding on the new jets to start in 2019 (When the liberals go past their Best Before Date) and delivery not until 2025.

Canada snubs Boeing in fighter jet deal with Australia

  • 24 minutes ago

Canada is looking to purchase an interim fleet of used fighter jets from Australia until it can replace its own ageing CF-18s fighter jets.

The move scraps an earlier plan to buy 18 new Boeing Super Hornet fighter jets as its so-called stopgap purchase.

It also warned that any bidders for the contract for 88 new aircraft must cause no "economic harm" to Canada.

The clause is an apparent snub to the US-based Boeing, which has targeted a Canadian rival firm in a trade dispute.

"Bidders responsible for harming Canada's economic interests will be at a distinct disadvantage," said federal Public Works Minister Carla Qualtrough on Tuesday.Image copyright Reuters

US aerospace firm Boeing is involved in a high-profile trade dispute with Canadian competitor Bombardier over government subsidies.

Last year the Liberal government said it would explore buying 18 new Boeing Super Hornet fighter jets, closing the "capability gap" in Canada's air power as it seeks a permanent replacement to its CF-18s jets.

But in September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatened to cancel the purchase of Boeing Super Hornets from the US in retaliation over the Bombardier trade dispute.

The procurement process to replace the 30-year-old fleet of CF-18s has been rife with problems and politics.

The former Conservative government originally intended to buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35s, with deliveries slated to begin in 2016.Image copyright Getty Images

Image caption Canada plans to add 18 used Australian fighters to its interim fleet

But the country's auditor general criticised the sole-sourced procurement process for the fighters in 2012.

The contract with US company Lockheed Martin was signed without a competitive bidding process, drawing ire from opposition parties at the time.

In the last federal election campaign, the Liberals unequivocally ruled out buying the stealth F-35 bomber for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

But the Liberals have had a reversal on the F-35s, and Lockheed Martin, which helped develop the aircraft, will be allowed to compete for the contract.

Canada will begin the formal bidding process for the new jets in 2019 for delivery in 2025.

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February 5, 2018 10:02 am

Amid Kinder Morgan feud, Liberals post tender for promised coast guard towing vessels

By Amanda Connolly National Online Journalist  Global News 

Days after pipeline protesters greeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of his town hall on Vancouver Island, the federal government has posted a tender to try to lock down two promised emergency towing vessels that can be in the water starting this fall.

According to a tender notice posted on the government procurement website Monday morning, firms that want to submit bids to lease the two vessels to the government for three years can pitch their plans to do so later this month in Ottawa. Interested firms will have to submit final bids by the middle of March, with delivery of the first vessel due no later than Sept. 30, 2018.

The second vessel must be delivered by Sept. 30, 2019, though it remains to be seen whether those deadlines will actually be met given federal procurement when it comes to vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard can frequently face years-long delays.

READ MORE: Pipeline politics boil over in Trudeau’s Vancouver Island town hall 

Trudeau announced plans to acquire the two vessels in November 2016 in the Oceans Protection Plan, a $1.5-billion federal program aimed at improving marine safety and responsible shipping.

That plan came shortly after the National Energy Board approved the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in May 2016, which will triple the capacity of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.

Tanker traffic in the Burnaby terminal is expected to increase from roughly five vessels per month to 34 per month because of the expansion.

The extra traffic means there is a greater possibility that a tanker could crash or spill its load along the coast of B.C. and cause significant damage to the marine ecosystems located there, and the request for proposal posted online noted those in its summary of the tender.

“With increased traffic, there is potential increased risk of having a vessel that has lost power or navigational control,” the tender reads.

“This may result in collision or grounding of a vessel leading to spills and causing a significant risk to crew, other vessels, and the marine environment, including the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale population and other species at risk.”

READ MORE: Ottawa won’t tolerate long delays on Trans Mountain, federal minister says

It continues to note that the goal of the rapid procurement effort is to help the Canadian Coast Guard to “immediately increase its capacity to mitigate risks of disabled large commercial vessels off Canada’s coast.”

Concerns around those risks brought out protesters to a town hall event held by the prime minister on Vancouver Island last week.

Three hecklers who appeared to be criticizing Trudeau for approving the pipeline were removed from the town hall within the first 20 minutes, while questions about why he had allowed the pipeline expansion to go ahead dominated the rest of the gathering.

Alberta and B.C. are currently locked in a battle over whether the B.C. NDP government has the right to ban the expansion of oil imports through the province, with Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley vowing to retaliate and Trudeau suggesting the feud may require federal intervention.

Supporters of the pipeline argue it is vital to Alberta’s ongoing economic recovery, while opponents argue the risk of a spill along the B.C. coast poses too great a risk to be allowed to proceed.

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Don't look, nothing to hide .....

Why the Liberals really don't want to talk about leasing icebreakers

The Trudeau government may be reluctant to talk about its plan to lease icebreakers because it could renew the focus on the struggles of the National Shipbuilding Strategy - and could even echo Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's defence on a charge of breach of trust.

The leasing arrangement bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the deal that brought Vice-Admiral Norman down

 
murray-brewster.jpg?imwidth=40
Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Apr 04, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago

It was one of those rare displays of opposition unanimity in the House of Commons that aren't flashy, but are definitely hard to ignore.

On at least three occasions last week, a member of the Conservatives, the New Democrats or the Groupe Parlementaire Québécois (the splintered remains of the Bloc Quebecois) rose to ask basically the same question:

Whatever became of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's sudden pledge last January to acquire Coast Guard icebreakers through the Chantier Davie shipyard in Levis, Que.?

The replies from the Liberal side tended to be the typical question period non-answer: We continue our negotiations.

The complete answer could prove politically uncomfortable for the governing Liberals — which explains the banal obfuscation.

"We will not do the negotiations here in the House," Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough said.

Small wonder.

On its surface, the arrangement under "negotiation" bears a striking resemblance — in procurement terms — to the deal that brought down the country's second-highest military commander, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.

He was accused of leaking secret cabinet deliberations related to the last federal contract — a $668 million deal — struck with the Chantier Davie yard.

Norman will appear in court next week to face one charge of breach of trust.

The inability of the once highly-touted National Shipbuilding Strategy to produce supply ships for the navy in a timely manner no doubt will be one the pillars of his defence.

A hopelessly broken procurement system?

The fact that the Liberals, who once questioned the utility of the former Conservative government's plan to lease a navy supply ship, are now negotiating their own rental of light icebreakers — from the same yard — speaks volumes to some analysts.

If Norman intends to argue that the system is hopelessly broken, the prime minister's seemingly out-of-the-blue pledge in Quebec City back in January effectively makes the point for him.

"In terms of the broader objective of what Admiral Norman and some others were working towards, which was getting ships one way or another, the government is today faced with that same dynamic in icebreaking," said Dave Perry, an expert in procurement with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

The Liberals, he said, have discovered the options for getting ships in the water when they are not actively being built — or when the building is hopelessly behind schedule — are "relatively finite" under the country's marquee shipbuilding program.

That strategy, devised by the Conservatives in 2010, designated Vancouver's Seaspan as the civilian builder of federal vessels, including the navy's permanent supply ships and icebreakers. Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax is the prime contractor in warship construction.

Chantier-Davie is outside of the official program and Norman's quest to get the navy a temporary supply ship had no end of opponents within the federal bureaucracy.

Those same forces may very well be at work in the new icebreaker "negotiations."

Industry sources close to the deal said there have been a number of meetings with federal officials, but no clear progress so far.

Lease or buy?

Apparently, the Liberal government has yet to settle on whether it wants to lease — or purchase outright — as many as four icebreakers, which were built originally for the oil and gas industry but are now available through Chantier-Davie.

As with the naval supply ship project, opponents have quietly argued that the leasing scheme weakens the federal strategy.

Elinor Sloan, a former policy analyst at National Defence, dismissed that argument and said there's more than enough work to go around.

"I don't think awarding small icebreakers would undermine the National Shipbuilding Strategy, because right now Seaspan and Irving have decades of work lined up ahead of them," said Sloan, who is now a professor of international relations at Carleton University.

There are serious capability gaps within the federal fleets that need to be addressed, said both Sloan and

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Vice Admiral Mark Norman in uniform at court sends a message to PMO – the battle is  on

 :Clap-Hands: :064: :021:

If the Trudeau government ever thought that Vice Admiral Mark Norman was going to fade away quietly, they appear to have seriously misjudged.

Norman was in an Ottawa court Tuesday morning for his first appearance after being charged with one count of breach of trust. Norman was charged last month by the RCMP in relation to the alleged leak of information about a Liberal government plan to derail a project to provide the Royal Canadian Navy with a new supply ship.

Norman says he has done nothing wrong.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau predicted twice over the last year that Norman would find himself in court. That has prompted allegations of political interference. The Prime Minister’s Office is said to be keeping close tabs on the Norman file.

PMO staff watching the news coverage of Norman’s first court appearance Tuesday would have got an eye-full. Norman didn’t slink into the court house through a side-door. The officer, who has been suspended from his job for more than a year, arrived at the front and walked up proudly in his naval uniform, displaying various medals and honours from a 30-year unblemished military career. (Since he is still a serving member of the Canadian Forces there is no issue about wearing his uniform.)

 

But there was a message in that uniform to the Liberal government and to a prime minister who recently dismissed a former soldier with a statement that injured veterans were asking for too much.

Norman, of course, isn’t physically injured. But his reputation has been significantly damaged. Norman intends to defend that reputation in court, say his supporters. The message to Trudeau and the government was get ready for a tough fight.

Norman’s eventual trial could prove damaging to the Trudeau government if political links to powerful financial interests are exposed, along with the inner workings of a failed procurement system.

There is a perception in some quarters the vice admiral is the designated fall guy for the Trudeau government angry their plans to put a halt to a contract to Davie Shipyards for a naval supply ship were scuttled by a leak to the news media.

When journalists asked Norman if he was being made a scapegoat, his lawyer Marie Henein was the one to answer: “I think that’s self-evident, isn’t it?”

 

 

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/vice-admiral-mark-norman-in-uniform-at-court-sends-a-message-to-pmo-the-battle-is-on

Edited by Jaydee

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Warship rejected by DND years ago will now be the backbone of Canada’s future navy

 
‎Yesterday, ‎February ‎8, ‎2019, ‏‎6:49:52 PM | David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen

The warship that will form the backbone of the country’s future maritime force was originally rejected by Canada’s defence department years ago as not capable of meeting the needs of the navy, according to documents obtained by Postmedia.

The Liberal government announced Friday that it had entered into a contract with Irving Shipbuilding to acquire new warships based on the Type 26 design being built in the United Kingdom.

Procurement minister Carla Qualtrough said at the announcement the Type 26 meets Canada’s requirements and the government feels it is the best design for the navy. Government officials say the design will be modified for Canadian needs and ultimately 15 of the ships will be constructed in the $60-billion Canadian Surface Combatant program.

The embrace of the Type 26 is a change from the Department of National Defence’s earlier examination of the vessels as it was being developed by the United Kingdom’s defence ministry. The DND had its eye on the Type 26 as far back as 2011 but rejected taking part in the program as well as any interest in the design as it did not meet Canadian needs, according to briefings obtained by Postmedia through the Access to Information law.

An examination into the Type 26 by the DND noted that the design could be modified for Canadian needs but concluded the “technical and programme risk would be high.”

The DND also gave serious consideration in 2010 and 2011 to join the U.K. on the Type 26 program but decided against that because of the cost, risk, and potential that Canadian firms would not get enough work out of a joint venture.

The 2011 review also highlighted issues with the Type 26 including crew size and speed. “Meeting tactical speed requirements, having sufficient crew to meet the projected Canadian operational tempo and ensuring relevance for thirty plus years of service are distinct Canadian requirements,” the review noted.

“While the T26 GCS design could be evolved to meet these needs, this would entail additional cost … and still include significant risks,” it added.

Over the years the original capabilities of the ship examined by the DND were further reduced by the U.K.

But the Canadian government has now completely reversed its opinion of the ship. With Canada ordering 15 of the warships, the Royal Canadian Navy will be the number one user of the Type 26 in the world.

The U.K. had planned to buy 13 of the ships but cut that down to eight.

warship-1.png?w=640&h=480

People surround a model of a BAE Systems Type 26 Global Combat Ship at the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries CANSEC trade show in Ottawa in May 2018.

Australia plans to buy nine of the vessels designed by BAE of the United Kingdom.

The Liberal government’s announcement Friday provides for an initial $185 million to Irving Shipbuilding for design work on the Type 26.

Canada’s purchase is the most complex and costly government acquisition in the country’s history, according to federal officials. Negotiations for the deal took place over a three-month period, a record considering the massive scope and risk of the project, according to industry observers.

The entry of the BAE Type 26 warship in the Canadian competition was controversial from the start and sparked complaints the procurement process was skewed to favour that vessel. Previously the Liberal government had said only mature existing designs or designs of ships already in service with other navies would be accepted, on the grounds they could be built faster and would be less risky. Unproven designs can face challenges as problems are found once the vessel is in the water and operating.

But the requirement for a mature design was changed and the government and Irving accepted the BAE design, though at the time it existed only on the drawing board. Construction began on the first Type 26 frigate in the summer of 2017 for Britain’s Royal Navy, but it has not yet been completed. Company claims about what the Type 26 ship can do, including how fast it can go, are based on simulations or projections.

The two other bidders in the Canadian program had ships actually in service with other navies so their capabilities are known.

Both Irving and the federal government have insisted the procurement was conducted in a way that ensures all bidders are treated equally, with no unfair advantage given to any individual bidder.

Qualtrough said during her announcement Friday the government has done its due diligence. “This process was essential to ensure the eventual winning bidder is financially capable of delivering on the project, meets combat systems performance requirements and offers intellectual property rights that support our ability to operate and maintain the ships in the long run,” she said.

Last year, Alion, one of the companies that submitted a bid on the project, filed a complaint with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal alleging the process was flawed and that BAE’s Type 26 can’t meet Canadian requirements. Alion has also filed a legal challenge in federal court, asking for a judicial review of the decision by Irving and the government to select the BAE design. Alion argued the Type 26 cannot meet the stated mandatory requirements, including speed, that Canada set out for the new warship, so it should be disqualified.

The CITT, however, rejected that complaint on Jan. 30, saying the U.S. firm did not have the standing to file a complaint before the tribunal. The CITT offered no other explanation.

• Email: dpugliese@postmedia.com | Twitter: davidpugliese

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Makes you wonder who will fly and maintain the used Australian Fighters.

‎February ‎10, ‎2019, ‏‎8 minutes ago

 

Clock ticking as Royal Canadian Air Force looks to stop hemorrhaging experienced pilots

 
‎Today, ‎February ‎10, ‎2019, ‏‎1 hour ago | The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — A shortage of experienced pilots is forcing the Royal Canadian Air Force to walk a delicate line between keeping enough seasoned aviators available to train new recruits and lead missions in the air.

Air force commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger described the balancing act during a recent interview with The Canadian Press in which he also revealed many pilots today are likely to have less experience than counterparts in similar positions 10 years ago.

Much of the problem can be traced back to veteran aviators leaving for commercial jobs, or other opportunities outside the military, forcing senior commanders into a juggling act over where to put those still in uniform.

The dip in experience as veteran aviators leave for commercial jobs or other opportunities has forced senior commanders to juggle where to put those still in uniform.

“In order to (support) your training system … you’ve got to pull experienced pilots into those positions, but you have to have experienced pilots on the squadrons to season the youth that are joining the units,” he said.

“So it’s a bit of a delicate balance. And when you’re in a situation where you don’t have as much experience, broadly speaking, you’ve got to balance that very carefully. Hence the idea of retaining as much talent as we can.”

Fixing the problems created by the shortage will become especially critical if the air force is to be ready for the arrival of replacements for the CF-18s.

Meinzinger said such transitions from one aircraft to another are particularly difficult — the RCAF needs to keep the same number of planes in the air to fly missions and have senior aviators train new pilots, while still sending seasoned pilots for training on the incoming fleet.

air_force_pilots_20190208.jpg?w=640

A RCAF crew member prepares for takeoff aboard the CH-124 Sea King helicopter at 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron in Saanich, B.C., on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.

“Ideally you want to go into those transitions very, very healthy with 100 per cent manning and more experience than you could ever imagine,” Meinzinger said.

While he is confident the military can address its pilot shortage in the next few years, especially when it comes to those responsible for manning Canada’s fighter jets, the stakes to get it right are extremely high.

The federal auditor general reported in November that the military doesn’t have enough pilots and mechanics to fly and maintain the country’s CF-18 fighter jets. Air force officials revealed in September they were short 275 pilots and need more mechanics, sensor operators and other trained personnel across its different aircraft fleets.

There are concerns the deficit will get worse as a result of explosive growth predicted in the global commercial airline sector, which could pull many experienced military pilots out of uniform.

“That’s the expectation, that Canada will need an additional 7,000 to 8,000 pilots just to nourish the demands within the Canadian aerospace sector,” Meinzinger said. “And we don’t have the capacity as a nation to produce even half of that.”

Within the military, there also hasn’t been enough new pilots produced to replace the number who have left. The auditor general found that while 40 fighter pilots recently left the Forces, only 30 new ones were trained.

The military is working on a contract for a new training program that will let the air force increase the number of new pilots trained in a given year when necessary, as the current program allows only a fixed number to be produced.

Meanwhile, Meinzinger said the loss of more seasoned pilots means others are being asked to take on more responsibility earlier in their careers, though he denied any significant impact on training or missions. He said the military is managing the situation through the use of new technology, such as simulators, to ensure the air force can still do its job.

“There’s no doubt commanding officers today in RCAF squadrons, they have probably less flying hours than they did 10 years ago,” he said.

“What that (commanding officer) has today is probably an exposure to 21st-century technology and training. So I think that certainly offsets the reduction of flying hours.”

Meinzinger and other top military commanders are nonetheless seized with the importance of keeping veteran pilots in uniform to ensure those climbing into the cockpit for the first time have someone to look to for guidance — now and in the future.

New retention strategies are being rolled out that include better support for military families, increased certainty for pilots in terms of career progression and a concerted effort to keep them in the cockpit and away from desks and administrative work.

Other militaries, notably the U.S., that are struggling with a shortage of pilots have introduced financial bonuses and other measures to stay in uniform. Meinzinger couldn’t commit to such an initiative, but did say that “nothing is off the table.”

The situation may not represent an existential crisis, at least not yet, but officials know it is one that needs to be addressed if Canada’s air force is to continue operating at top levels for the foreseeable future.

“Experience is what allows us to (transfer knowledge) and grow for the future,” Meinzinger said. “And that’s why I talk about it as being kind of the centre of gravity. In the extreme, if you lose all your experience, you can’t regenerate yourself.”

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Coast guard's $227M ships rock 'like crazy,' making crews seasick, unable to work

Canada's $227-million fleet of mid-shore coast guard vessels are rolling "like crazy" at sea, making crews seasick and keeping some ships in port during weather conditions where they should be able to operate, CBC News has learned.

'Something needs to be done,' says commanding officer about stability issue that's kept ships from patrolling

 
paul-withers-cbc-nova-scotia-reporter.jp
Paul Withers · CBC News · Posted: Feb 11, 2019 6:00 AM AT | Last Updated: 2 hours ago
 
salmon-enforcement.jpg
The CCGS M. Charles sometimes sets a special 'weather course' based on the swell and the wind direction to keep from rolling too much, according to one federal Fisheries and Oceans Canada supervisor. (CBC/Rafferty Baker)

 

Canada's $227-million fleet of mid-shore coast guard vessels are rolling "like crazy" at sea, making crews seasick and keeping some ships in port during weather conditions where they should be able to operate, CBC News has learned.  

Canadian Coast Guard records and correspondence obtained under federal access to information legislation raise questions about the patrol vessels' seagoing capability and reveal a two-year debate — still unresolved — on how to address the problem.

At issue is the lack of stabilizer fins — blades that stick out from the hull to counteract the rolling motion of waves — on nine Hero class ships that were built by the Irving Shipyard in Halifax between 2010 and 2014.

The problem is reportedly so bad that a trip along the West Coast required one Fisheries and Oceans Canada supervisor in B.C. to place rolled up jackets under the outer edge of his bunk to keep him pinned against the wall instead of being tossed out by the amount of roll in the ship.

"It goes without saying that the crew [is] in favour of [stabilizers]," wrote supervisor Mike Crottey. "Seasickness is felt both by conservation and protection and coast guard personnel and has an impact on vessel operation."

Retrofit debated since 2017

The coast guard decided it did not need stabilizers when the ships were being built, but has been considering retrofitting them since 2017 amid criticism from commanding officers and others who serve on board.

Crottey said that in exposed water, the skipper of the CCGS M. Charles sets a weather course to "keep the ship from really rocking around," which can result in more fuel consumption and increased operating costs.

"This course is based on the swell and the wind direction and is used [to] alleviate excessive ship motion and not based on the shortest distance to destination," Crottey wrote. 

The nine Hero class vessels were built at the Irving Shipyard in Halifax. (Robert Short/CBC)

The vessels, which are 42 metres long and seven metres wide, are known as the Hero class since each is named after an exemplary military, RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard or DFO officer. Their primary mission is fisheries enforcement and maritime security in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Great Lakes and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The ships also provide search and rescue and pollution control.

The coast guard denies there is any problem with the safety and stability of the fleet. However, in a March 2017 "configuration change request" to have stabilizers installed, coast guard project manager David Wyse described "an increased hazard of crew injuries and program failures.

"All vessel operators agree the Hero class vessels require stabilizers in all area of operation," Wyse wrote. "Program operations can suffer [due] to the fact that the vessels have extreme roll in high sea state conditions."

More than a year later, in May 2018, Wyse relayed an unidentified at-sea testimonial: "I'm rolling 15 degrees port and starboard (30 degrees total) out here today and the winds are less than 10 knots and seas are less than one metre. We need to make this platform more workable."

'This ship rocks like crazy'

Those concerns were echoed by Sgt. Hector Chaisson of the RCMP Marine Security Enforcement Teams who, in September 2017, wrote "greater stability of the ship would be appreciated by the entire crew and would avoid repeated seasickness."

Fred Emeneau, commanding officer of the CCGS G. Peddle, was more blunt in his assessment.

"All I know is something needs to be done," he said. "They want us to patrol through the nights whenever possible. The crews are getting fatigued trying to achieve this in North Atlantic conditions in the winter. Most 45-foot [13.7-metre] fishing boats we work around are wider than the [mid-shore patrol vessels]."

The commanding officer of the CCGS G. Peddle says crews are tired trying to patrol at nighttime in North Atlantic conditions during the winter. (CBC)

In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Francois Lamoutee, commander of the CCGS Caporal Kaeble emailed on August 2018 with his opinion.

"By the way stabilizers should never have been removed from the original design. Please put them back ASAP. Losing a few cubic metres of fuel space will be a minor factor compared to the huge gain in stability, safety and comfort for the crew."

The issue of excessive rolling isn't limited to expeditions at sea.

Steve Arniel, commanding officer of the CCGS Constable Carrière on the Great Lakes, emailed in June 2018, saying, "This ship rocks like crazy tied to the dock!"

Dozens of missed days at sea

Another concern is the time the vessels spend holding up the wharf because of weather.

In the 2016-17 season, the Nova Scotia-based CCGS Corporal McLaren lost 44 per cent of ship time allotted to fisheries patrols — 112 of 252 days — because the vessel could not sail due to weather, according to its commanding officer.

Greg Naugle reported that "87 days of those weather days were in seas less than three metres, which is inside the TSOR [technical statement of operational requirements] operational envelope." The year before, 107 days were lost when seas were under three metres, he said.

The coast guard sent CBC News records of weather delays for the 2017-18 season for the two mid-shore patrol vessels based in the Atlantic.

ccgs-corporal-mclaren.jpgThe Nova Scotia-based CCGS Corporal McLaren lost 112 of 252 days at sea meant for fisheries patrols because of weather in the 2016-17 season, according to its commanding officer. (CBC)

It said the CCGS G. Peddle had 96 weather delay days out of a planned 302 operational days, while the Corporal McLaren had 97 weather delay days out of 309 planned operational days. It did not say how many weather delay days involved seas under three metres.

A satellite tracking comparison of fishing activity versus patrol coverage in southwestern Nova Scotia was redacted on the grounds disclosure jeopardized security.

But Michael Grace, a DFO Maritimes offshore surveillance supervisor, wrote in that report there are "several examples" of a mid-shore patrol vessel staying in port due to weather "while significant on-water activity is taking place offshore."

 

Ottawa looking into issue

None of this is a surprise to Jeff Irwin, a recently retired 33-year federal Fisheries officer who heard complaints as a member of the national executive of the Union of Health and Environment Workers. The union represents DFO conservation and protection officers.

"They can't go out to sea and do the fisheries patrols when the fishermen are on the fishing grounds because they can't handle the wave action, they can't handle the sea. So as a result they lose a lot of patrol time," he told CBC News in an interview.

Documents released to CBC News blank out cost estimates on retrofitting the vessels with stabilizers.

Federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told CBC News the government is "definitely looking into" the issue. "It's obviously not great if we're losing sea time," he said.

The mid-shore patrol vessels were built without stabilizers. (Robert Short/CBC)

An analysis of options prepared for the coast guard by a Dartmouth, N.S., naval architecture firm said stabilizers were intended as original equipment.

"Due to many changes to the original design the vessel had become too heavy and it was decided to drop the stabilizers to save weight and reduce hull resistance," said an assessment by Lengkeek Vessel Engineering prepared for the coast guard.

Stabilizers would add weight

Mario Pelletier, deputy coast guard commissioner, disputes that, and said stabilizers were never dropped because the coast guard never asked for them.

He said they are now being considered as part of planning for a mid-life modernization. In the meantime, the coast guard is grappling with the added weight and space that would be required to put them on.

"We're going to do the feasibility study and I think it looks promising but there will be trade-offs that fleet will have to agree to (carry less fuel, vessels that go slower because of the appendages) so I don't know that you'd be in a position to promise stabilizers," wrote DFO naval architect Tracey Clarke in a May 2017 email to David Wyse.

Nearly two years later, the coast guard and its managers have not made the decision.

Mario Pelletier, the deputy coast guard commissioner, says the quicker a ship rolls, the more stability it has. (CBC)

Irving Shipyard did not respond to a request for comment on the issue of installing coast guard stabilizers.

CBC News reported three years ago that the mid-shore patrol vessels have been the subject of numerous warranty claims by the coast guard, including some for faulty wiring, polluted water tanks, premature corrosion and a gearbox failure.

At the time, Irving Shipbuilding said the ships were built and inspected according to international and Transport Canada safety requirements, warranty issues were being addressed and the ships performed extremely well.

'No stability issues on those ships'

Pelletier told CBC News the vessels meet the operational standard set by the coast guard. The ships can operate in seas of more than three metres, but certain activities — including launching rigid hull inflatable boats and hauling lobster or crab pots — may not be safe in severe seas, he said.

As for the wave riding of mid-shore vessels, Pelletier said that's a question of comfort, not stability. Occupational health and safety records show nothing out of the ordinary in terms of seasickness on the ships, he said.

"The quicker a ship rolls and comes right up, the better stability it has, it's less comfortable. That's the difference," he said.

"If a ship rolls slowly and doesn't come right up properly — that's a huge stability concern. To be clear, there are no stability issues on those ships."

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February 14, 2019 9:28 am

Updated: February 14, 2019 9:31 am

Shortage of sailors a cause for concern for Royal Canadian Navy

By Lee Berthiaume

Shipbuilders look at Lockheed Martin Canada's design of 15 new Canadian Surface Combatants to be built at Irving Shipbuilding's Halifax shipyard in Halifax on February 8, 2019.

The Canadian Press/Darren Calabrese
 

A shortage of sailors is making it hard for the Royal Canadian Navy to operate its ships and work on replacing them at the same time, according to a senior naval officer.

The revelation by Commodore Steve Waddell, head of naval strategic readiness, follow similar concerns from the Royal Canadian Air Force about the difficult choices it is facing thanks to a shortage of experienced pilots.

 

Taken together, they underscore the severe personnel challenges facing some parts of the Canadian Forces, which tend to be overshadowed by the numerous problems facing the military procurement system.

In fact, Waddell indicated during a presentation to a defence conference this week that the navy’s personnel shortages could threaten the Trudeau government’s “ambitious” defence policy.

READ MORE: Ottawa awards long-awaited $60B warship design contract to Lockheed Martin

That policy – entitled Strong, Secure, Engaged – says the military must be able to conduct several missions at the same time. It also sets aside billions of dollars for upgrades to the navy, including new warships and modernized submarines.

Some of those projects have already been delayed, such as the construction of new support ships, though the blame for many of those delays rests outside of the navy and with private shipyards or other federal departments.

The navy nonetheless has its work cut out for it, including imminent talks with U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin and Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax to decide the final design for its new $60-billion fleet of warships.

“In terms of delivering on Strong, Secure, Engaged, what I think is going to really fundamentally be a constraint in the next little while is the reality of the workforce,” Waddell said.

While the navy is at least 10 per cent short of trained sailors, he said it is facing a shortfall of up to 40 per cent in some places when sailors it does have are unavailable because of training, medical problems or other reasons.

“So when you’re trying to deploy and have a forward presence … while at the same time trying to account for the institutional needs of delivering on Strong, Secure, and Engaged, you can imagine the bit of a dance that’s in front of us.”

The navy’s problem is different from the air force’s: the navy is struggling to simply recruit people while the air force is losing experienced pilots to civilian jobs.

WATCH: Scrap, don’t fix, storied Coast Guard ship, shipyard says

TH_SHIPBUILDING_RANT_AKIN_24_848x480_1431613507768.jpg?w=670&quality=70&strip=all

Link to video:  https://globalnews.ca/news/4960812/shortage-of-sailors-navy/

Yet there are also parallels, as Waddell said the navy, like much of the rest of the military, is fighting industry for employees at a time when unemployment is low, demographics are changing and there are other opportunities for people.

Not that the navy is completely without a plan. Waddell and others have talked about using technology, particularly in its new ships, to ease the navy’s personnel requirements as well as attract a new generation of recruits.

In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, navy commander Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd talked about using artificial intelligence to ease workload and the addition of wireless networks to ships as areas where change is coming.

“What does it mean to be a digital navy is what we’re focused on,” he said.

“I think that’s going to be key to our ability to attract (people) and then recruit them and then hopefully retain them.”

 

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3 hours ago, Malcolm said:

That policy – entitled Strong, Secure, Engaged – says the military must be able to conduct several missions at the same time.

When dollars get tight, that principal seems to get lost. It's not just several missions at once, it's equipment that serves as force multipliers (for all branches) and interoperability between forces. 

As discussed in another thread, take away fighters at the same time as you have no shore bombardment, no CAS, no attack Helicopters, no armed drones and you might as well lip-sync "Who Ya Gonna Call". Throw in high attrition levels of experienced people, let that fester untended until you can't train yourself out of the deficit, and you find yourself in the here and now without the need of using expensive GPS to get there. It costs more to produce an combat ready infantry Sergeant than it does a doctor, cool eh?

Although watching them is fun, the MBA crew have a lot of explaining to do IMO. Why anyone still listens to them is beyond me. They don't even assist in digging the hole.... they just recommend enhanced excavation techniques and supply the shovels.

Edited by Wolfhunter

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1 hour ago, Wolfhunter said:

When dollars get tight, that principal seems to get lost. It's not just several missions at once, it's equipment that serves as force multipliers (for all branches) and interoperability between forces. 

As discussed in another thread, take away fighters at the same time as you have no shore bombardment, no CAS, no attack Helicopters, no armed drones and you might as well lip-sync "Who Ya Gonna Call". Throw in high attrition levels of experienced people, let that fester untended until you can't train yourself out of the deficit, and you find yourself in the here and now without the need of using expensive GPS to get there. It costs more to produce an combat ready infantry Sergeant than it does a doctor, cool eh?

Although watching them is fun, the MBA crew have a lot of explaining to do IMO. Why anyone still listens to them is beyond me. They don't even assist in digging the hole.... they just recommend enhanced excavation techniques and supply the shovels.

Unless we are operating outside of Canada, why do we need shore bombardment? 

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12 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

Unless we are operating outside of Canada, why do we need shore bombardment? 

Artillery support for any (and all) coastal operations; we do have quite a bit of shoreline here. Looking at each of these things in isolation and deeming them non-essential in a manner that eliminates everything at once can only happen in insular stovepipe environments. There is always the big picture.... 

My point is, you can't take everything and still expect something from nothing. I remember having this conversation with people about heavy lift helicopters; they were badly needed in Afghanistan and we learned a valuable lesson.... too soon forgotten.  

 

Edited by Wolfhunter

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7 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

Artillery support for any (and all) coastal operations; we do have quite a bit of shoreline here. Looking at each of these things in isolation and deeming them non-essential in a manner that eliminates everything at once can only happen in insular stovepipe environments. There is always the big picture.... 

My point is, you can't take everything and still expect something from nothing. I remember having this conversation with people about heavy lift helicopters; they were badly needed in Afghanistan and we learned a valuable lesson.... too soon forgotten.  

 

But I still question any need for attack fighters.  If on the other hand we are to be ready for anything then we need to pay the piper and bring our forces up to (in numbers / modern equipment, perhaps 1950 levels.  If we are not willing to do so then we need to cut back to what is required to protect our countries landmass, yes including shorelines .

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You only need to decide what you want and be content with the result. Or remain content with the result when it's not there; that was not the case in Afghanistan..... the scramble was on in the pursuit of contentment; we had to replace that which we previously deemed superfluous. After melting down the cannons to make church bells, we had to melt down the church bells to make cannons.

If CASARA pilots hurling box lunches out of C172's passes as acceptable close air support then cool..... I'm retired and it's no longer my problem.

It's a big country with a large landmass, take away everything incrementally and you will be left with nothing. The army needs fast air in CAS, the navy needs fast air in TASMO, and if you want to interdict, intercept or escort anything you need fast air. Take away all of the force multipliers and suffer the "wrath of the math." Maybe archers in gyrocopters would work, what are you suggesting as an alternative?

Edited by Wolfhunter

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28 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

You only need to decide what you want and be content with the result. Or remain content with the result when it's not there; that was not the case in Afghanistan..... the scramble was on in the pursuit of contentment; we had to replace that which we previously deemed superfluous. After melting down the cannons to make church bells, we had to melt down the church bells to make cannons.

If CASARA pilots hurling box lunches out of C172's passes as acceptable close air support then cool..... I'm retired and it's no longer my problem.

It's a big country with a large landmass, take away everything incrementally and you will be left with nothing. The army needs fast air in CAS, the navy needs fast air in TASMO, and if you want to interdict, intercept or escort anything you need fast air. Take away all of the force multipliers and suffer the "wrath of the math." Maybe archers in gyrocopters would work.

Re Afghanistan, there are of course some who still ask why we got involved there or indeed in Iraq.  9/11 was horrific but the retaliation was even more so, if you are talking about the lives of innocents. You seem confused with what I am saying, in order to defend Canada and it's borders we do not need attack fighter (full stop), if we ever do the small numbers that we can afford (at least according to our Government)  would be overwhelmed by any nation with the capability of launching an attack on your shores.  Helicopter gun ships, yes, just imagine how many truly defensive units such as those that we could purchase instead of "Whiz Bangs".  .

 

On the other hand if we are going to make commitments that involve International missions then we indeed do need to spend the coin to be capable of doing so.

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I'm not confused in the slightest and I'm not talking about the lives of innocents. The gulf, Afghanistan, Libya etc weren't my idea, the people of Canada called the tune and paid the piper. 

So then, if I need close air support who do I call. Or is it your position that I don't need it and never will. Seriously now, if there are no fighters, no attack helicopters, no armed drones etc who do I call on.  

Like many assets, fighters are multi role and that flexibility is the very key to air power. So consider dealing with the aspects of multi role one role at a time. Do we need close air support for troops in combat? If your answer is no, I disagree, we are at an impasse and I won't serve in your army.  Simple eh? Just promise we will never again come to the brink of war with an allied country over a fish I had never heard of prior to beating the drum. BTW, the navy would sorely miss fast air support should we find a fish we like more than turbot..

Edited by Wolfhunter

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48 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

I'm not confused in the slightest and I'm not talking about the lives of innocents. The gulf, Afghanistan, Libya etc weren't my idea, the people of Canada called the tune and paid the piper. 

So then, if I need close air support who do I call. Or is it your position that I don't need it and never will. Seriously now, if there are no fighters, no attack helicopters, no armed drones etc who do I call on.  

Like many assets, fighters are multi role and that flexibility is the very key to air power. So consider dealing with the aspects of multi role one role at a time. Do we need close air support for troops in combat? If your answer is no, I disagree, we are at an impasse and I won't serve in your army.  Simple eh? Just promise we will never again come to the brink of war with an allied country over a fish I had never heard of prior to beating the drum. The navy will miss fast air support too.

You will not serve and in my world we would never put any of armed forces into any conflict by choice where we could not protect and arm them (full stop), that being said  what we need to decide what we want  to do vs what we can do!  We either need to stop pretending that we are a world power (armed forces that is) or suck it up and make sure we fit the role and pay the bill. The grim reality is that we have no hope in hell of stopping an armed invasion of our country from major nation equipped and motivated to make that invasion to pretend otherwise is just plain dumb unless we spend the money etc. to become that Major world power.  Having nukes would of course help us to assume that role.

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