Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Canada-U. S. defense partnership turns 50

Happy 50th, NORAD

National Post Published: Monday, May 12, 2008

May 12th, 2008, marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Canada-U. S. defense partnership, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). We have a lot of things to be proud of in the most successful bilateral relationship the world has ever known, and the most profound example may well be the 50 years of security provided to our people through this important partnership.

NORAD was born a decade after the valiant heroes of the Second World War had confronted and defeated the tyrants of their day and returned home to Canada and the United States, determined to keep the homeland secure.

Their vision would become the most successful and unique peacekeeping agreement the world has ever known. In May, 1958, the people of our two sovereign nations partnered to form NORAD, monitoring the skies, and now also the seas, for man-made threats to North America.
And we've have many occasions to be thankful for their vision since.

During the murderous attacks of September 11, 2001, when North American air space was closed and the U. S. Air Force were ordered to shoot down any threatening aircraft, a Canadian general was sitting in the NORAD chair making those life and death decisions. It was a vivid example of the breadth and depth of trust that exists between our nations.

Today, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of NORAD, the relationship remains even more vital. We face a different enemy with different tactics on different battlefields, but one whose goals remain the same: destroy what freedom has built. And so today we face the same choices: confront terror and tyranny or look away.

Happy Anniversary, NORAD, and may God bless all who protect and all those they willingly serve.

By David H. Wilkins, ambassador of the United States to Canada.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Canadian Medic killed in Afghanistan Ambush

It looks like the Taliban are going to put on a big push this spring. After taking heavy taking heavy losses in 2006 they resorted to IED's and suicide bombers for the most part throughout 2007. Recent intel suggests that they may have been training in Pakistan to fight at battalion size level (500 troops or more). Apparently they have been studying Canadian and American combat techniques and are set to employ them against us. So it's a good thing that the United States Marines will be deployed along side our Canadian troops with there helicopters and Harrier jump jets.

'Stand up guy' killed in Afghanistan

Gwendolyn Richards, Sarah McGinnis and Stephane Massinon , Canwest News

ServicePublished: Tuesday, May 06, 2008

CALGARY - Cpl. Michael Starker had already dedicated years of his life to the Canadian military when volunteers were sought to serve in the dangerous Afghan mission.
Despite having a wife and a burgeoning career as a Calgary paramedic, the medic felt the need to serve one more time.

What was anticipated to be his last tour fighting in Afghanistan proved deadly for the Calgary reservist, who was killed Tuesday during an ambush that also injured another soldier.

The 36-year-old member of 15 Field Ambulance was on foot patrol when the group was attacked in the Pashmul region of the Zhari district.

Starker is the 83rd Canadian soldier to die during the Afghanistan mission.

"We have lost a fine soldier today and our thoughts are with his family and friends," said Brig.-Gen. Guy Laroche, commanding general of Task Force Afghanistan.

"He died helping Afghans build a better future for themselves and their children. His dedication and sacrifice will not be forgotten."

Starker had been with the Edmonton-based unit for the past five years and "his dedication was second to none," 15 Field Ambulance commanding officer Lt.-Col. Roger Scott said in a statement.

"At the time of the incident, our soldiers were conducting a civil-military co-operation patrol in the area, when they came under attack," said Laroche in Afghanistan.

"Our Canadian Forces are making immense sacrifices. They are working to bring security and democracy to the people of Afghanistan, while also protecting and promoting Canadian values," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.

"Cpl. Starker made the ultimate sacrifice, and his efforts will remain a source of pride for all Canadians."