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Author Topic: Rub-A-Dub, Dub ... Three Men In A Tub ...
bossi
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posted 01 August 2021 16:12     Profile for bossi   Email bossi     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
LOL = "Laughing Out Loud" (or so I'm told)

This story has actually had me laughing aloud - a foreign freighter full of Canadian army equipment, bobbing around in the Atlantic for days, refusing to enter port until the bills are paid, all the while with three unarmed Canadian soldiers aboard (ostensibly to safeguard the CF kit ... yet unarmed ...). Good grief!

I'm curious - if the lien by the shipowner was legal, I wonder what legal basis was used (by DND/DSS) to withhold payment to the contractor? Hmmmm ...

Gee, I wonder if next time, just maybe, somebody might consider contracting shipping of this sort to a more reputable Canadian company ... like, maybe CP ...(since, after all, Canada doesn't have a merchant marine any more)?

I'm curious, also, as to what "value added" benefit the Canadian taxpayers are receiving by having a contractor, and then a sub-contractor, in between DND and the shipowner? Wouldn't it have been cheaper for DND to simply deal with the shipowner (especially since the sub-contractor was involved in exactly this sort of imbroglio in 1995?)

Watching this comedy makes me realise just how remarkable it was that the Brits were able to mount and wage the Falklands campaign (somehow, I just can't imagine a shipload of Brit equipment or troops going astray in a similar fashion).

Only in Canada, eh? Pity ...

Dileas Gu Brath
M.A. Bossi, Esquire


Posts: 222 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Gunner
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posted 02 August 2021 21:10     Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
As the War Diary seems to be undergoing a summer slow down, maybe we can get some commentary happen on this issue.

I'd be upset about this if there was a pressing concern to get this equipment back. It's just not that big of an issue for our operational capability.

The Kosovo contingent of equipment includes approx 21
Coyote Reconnaisance Vehicles (which is probably the most sophisticated equipment on the ship), approx 60 Grizzly APCs (which are being phased out/refurbished with the implementation of LAV III), approx 4-5 Leopard Tanks (of which Canada has surplus - for our current organization anyway) and various support vehicles (wheeled and tracked). I believe the helicopter detachment was transferred to TFBH.

Obviously the Army wants the equipment back, however, most of the
equipment would be going through refurbishment in Montreal anyway, hence, there is not a driving "national security issue" to get it back quickly. If the government wanted to send another contingent somewhere, there is still enough equipment in Canada to easily send a battalion overseas (probably enough for two).

Why are we upset about this? Why is the MND "sabre rattling" and invoking images of a JTF2 assault on a cargo ship at dawn? Grim faced public affairs officers stating "we never discuss any potential military operations before they occur". Shouldn't we downplay this incident and simply call it what it is...a contract dispute and it will be sorted out through legal means.

Canada ... Victor of the Turbot Wars and Conqueror of Cargo ships?


Posts: 98 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000
bossi
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posted 03 August 2021 10:06     Profile for bossi   Email bossi     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, I suppose the best answer(s) as to why we should be upset about this can be found in these editorials:

http://www.nationalpost.com/commentary/editorials/story.html?f=/stories/20000803/361544.html

http://199.246.67.250/gam/Editorials/20000803/EKATIE.html

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/letters/000803/4523065.html

http://www.hfxnews.southam.ca/Perspective/Column2.html

The National Post was my favourite, for being succint yet hitting the most nails upon the head - here is the paragraph which I liked so much:

It is hard to decide which is the most pitiful part of this story. Is it that Canada's navy, which in 1946 was the third largest in the world, today doesn't even have the ability to transport our army to battle? Is it that a key element of our national security was delegated to a foreign company? Is it that fully 10% of Canada's armoured force can fit on a single ship? Is it that the "robust" response dreamed up by Art Eggleton, the Defence Minister, was to send a frigate and a destroyer to watch the GTS Katie bob in the middle of nowhere? Or is it that this predicament -- which would be a scandal for any serious military nation -- is nothing but the latest humiliation wrought upon the Forces by a government that has starved it of funds, manpower and equipment, all the while making ever more political and public relations demands on it?

Dileas Gu Brath
M.A. Bossi, Esquire



Posts: 222 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
bossi
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posted 03 August 2021 10:08     Profile for bossi   Email bossi     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
(sp) s.b. "succinct"
Posts: 222 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
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posted 03 August 2021 11:19     Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The editorials all make good points and they are points that they have been making for years...CF is inadequately funded, Members are inadequately provided for, underequipped, over utilized, suffering burnout, etc, etc, etc. We've heard all these points before and I think most serving and retired members will, in general, agree with them. However, governments acting on the will of the people have not seen it as politically beneficial to spend large amounts of money on the CF. Do our taxpayers think the military does a good job? Yes! Do our taxpayers think we should spend more money on the military? Yes, but we are always fifth or sixth on the list after (medicare, tax cuts, paying down the debt, money for ne'er do wells, feminist artists who produce porno flicks, etc, etc. Politicians usually do not see it as a vote getting benefit to large military expenditures. Indeed, rightly or wrongly, most of our equipment is purchased as a "industry boosting" project (LSVW and CFP to name but two, I'm sure there are others).

My concern is the government is going to feel pressed into a purchasing the Navy's proposal for replacement of the AOR (that being a combination ship that can replenish the fleet, carry military vehicles, helicopters, and act as a command and control ship for far flung peacekeeping operations). What's wrong with that you may ask...couple of issues.

First, remember, the PC government of Brian Mulroney spending millions of dollars developing a Polar Ice Ship (Class 8) that would "protect Canadian Sovereignty" up north...it was a popular thing to start, but it was quietly discarded after it became too costly.

Second, do we really need a military capability for RORO when the civilian sector can (under normal circumstances) supply it? Remember, once you buy it, the major costs become the personnel required to run it, refits, etc, etc. Will the military get enough use out of it to justify the expense? This episode aside, we haven't used RORO ships that many times over the last 50 years and should be careful jumping into something simply because it may fit a need we think we need (remember our billion dollars of air defence equipment that is collecting dust?).

Third, DND Capital acquisitions are forcasted many years ahead. To move the military version of a RORO ship to the forefront would push something back...new helicopters, new ACV, CF18 upgrades, etc...the money has to come from somewhere and the government probably wouldn't substantially raise our budget for capital acquisiton.

Do I agree with the points raised in the editorials? Yes, Canada needs more capability then it has now if it wants to remain on the world stage and it has a moral obligation to ensure that the men and women of the CF who are sent far away places that are deemed to be "in Canada's interest" are sent with proper equipment, training and support. Let's also remember that the CF also has to operate with what the government (read taxpayers) will give them and if the government (DND) tries to ride the wave of public support to purchase a piece of equipment, which we may or may not need, it comes from our budget and we pay for it for the next 30 years.

Anyway, I guess my point is "let's not blow this out of proportion". This is simply a legal issue that involves military gear being transported on a civilian ship. The media and opposition parties will do whatever they can to embarrass the government (and DND along with it), however, will they be any better when they take control?


Posts: 98 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000
bossi
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posted 03 August 2021 11:39     Profile for bossi   Email bossi     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, again I think there is much merit in this discussion.

It's been my personal opinion for ages that the Canadian navy should have some sort of "troopships" - the frigates are nice, but not terribly versatile in the grand scheme of things.

Something like the USS Guam could come in handy, since it could ferry both troops and equipment, while also being a floating/mobile heliport! A cousin-in-law in the Dutch navy is serving on one of their similar new ships (can't remember if it's the Rotterdam, Amsterdam, or whatever) - he mentioned it was received very favourably, and some allied armies had already made overtures about "borrowing" it for exercises and operations.

Thus, I think it's entirely possible our navy might find it much more useful to have another class of ship in the inventory - one which could carry (and land) troops, equipment, and even serve as a mobile "joint command post", and would allow our army and navy to work together more closely (as we get smaller and smaller, we'd better learn to get along with each other better).

Your point about a limited defence dollar is quite correct - I suggest the army, navy, and "fleet air arm" would benefit jointly from the cooperative purchase of a "landing ship", and the Canadian taxpayer would approve of this sensible purchase.

Dileas Gu Brath
M.A. Bossi, Esquire


Posts: 222 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Gunner
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posted 03 August 2021 11:59     Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Mark Bossi stated: It's been my personal opinion for ages that the Canadian navy should have some sort of"troopships" - the frigates are nice, but not terribly versatile in the grand scheme of things.

Gunner: Mass movement of troops is much better by air (don't know if it's cheaper). Frigates are a product of the cold war and the navy's focus on ASW. If we knew now what would happen to the Cold War, maybe, we wouldn't have acquired them (who knows!).

Mark Bossi: Something like the USS Guam could come in handy, since it could ferry both troops and equipment, while also being a floating/mobile heliport!

Gunner: Agree wholehardily (sp?). However, it's a case of nice to have, should have, must have...where does it fit in? Especially since RORO ships are available through civilian companies is it a must have?

Mark Bossi: Thus, I think it's entirely possible our navy might find it much more useful to have another class of ship in the inventory - one which could carry (and land) troops, equipment, and even serve as a mobile "joint command post", and would allow our army and navy to work together more closely (as we get smaller and smaller, we'd better learn to get along with each other better).

Gunner: That is the current navy proposal and justification to replace the current AORs. However, whenever the navy proposes something that they feel would benefit the army, they are really more concerned about their own fleet. Examples of this are numerous...from Adm Landymore proposing a "Grand Fleet" for Canada in the early 60s and expecting the army to agree to it because it provided (1 or 2 troop transports) to Adm (whats his name) in the late 80s/early 90s who stated publically that the army was so far gone that it should be disbanded to beef up the navy and airforce. Anyway, they may purchase it as a "joint command post" but the army may never set foot on it. Amphibious operations off of it? Geez, do we even know how to do mechanized operations anymore?

Mark Bossi: Your point about a limited defence dollar is quite correct - I suggest the army, navy, and "fleet air arm" would benefit jointly from the cooperative purchase of a "landing ship", and the Canadian taxpayer would approve of this sensible purchase.

Gunner: Over the last 10 years there are several instances where a ship with similar capabilities (less the 1000s of marines) like the USS Guam would have been useful (Haiti and East Timor) and possibly we may have sent troops elsewhere. However the majority of major deployments have not required a specialized capability in the Balkans. So all things (defence budget, PYs) remaining equal my question is a "Joint Command Ship" a must have, should have, or nice to have?


Posts: 98 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000
bossi
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posted 03 August 2021 14:40     Profile for bossi   Email bossi     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, as Howard Cosell used to say: "It's all over but the shouting ...".

WebPosted Thu Aug 3 14:49:31 2000
ST. JOHN'S - The captain of the GTS Katie has told CBC Radio that his ship is "under attack". He says there are helicopters flying above the ship and that at least five soldiers have boarded the craft.

The Department of National Defence says the boarding took place at 12:45 p.m. ET.

(we'll see whether a medal is cast ...)


Posts: 222 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Brad Sallows
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posted 04 August 2021 18:01     Profile for Brad Sallows   Email Brad Sallows     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Suppose a ship, owned by a company of nation A but registered in nation B, and crewed by citizens of nation C while being officered by citizens of nation D, is carrying Canadian equipment (and a few soldiers) to a peace enforcement operation. Suppose one of the belligerents has no desire for the interference and happens to own a couple of serviceable, if obsolete, diesel submarines.

Can anyone on the list answer this accurately: Against whom, exactly, has an act of war (according to whatever international laws apply) been committed if a torpedo is laid into the ship? Because if it's only the country of registry, I don't see much deterring exactly this sort of preemptive strike.


Posts: 60 | From: Burnaby BC | Registered: Jun 2000
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posted 04 August 2021 18:40     Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Two Issues:

First. I'd have to side with the country the ship is registered with would have a diplomatic responsibility to protest and perhaps conduct further action. Companies register with obscure third world nations because their taxes are lower, however, First World nations obviously charge more taxes but you are buying the safety a modern state can provide.

Secondly. The nations whose citizens are involved is a second issue. Imagine a state torpedoing a ship of Liberian Registry that is crewed by americans. Tell me the US isn't going to stuff a carrier battle group in their face!

If it's in a countries self interest to get involved in a dispute, they will do it for whatever reason.

My 2 cents, 1 cent canadian.


Posts: 98 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000

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