Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nanook of the North

The exercise, that is:
The 5,000-ton Canadian warship that fought piracy while cruising around the entire continent of Africa last year may be ill-equipped for its own Arctic waters.

Ice chunks, oil spills and mechanical problems due to cold, slushy water are just some of the worries of HMCS Toronto naval captains when the ship heads to the Arctic next month for a sovereignty mission.

"I don't expect I'll sleep a lot when we're operating in the Arctic," Commander Alex Grant said yesterday while making a presentation to about 20 academics at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies.

The ship may be loaded with modern missiles, guns and first-rate surveillance technology, but it has no ice capabilities.

So when the 235-member crew goes north, they'll be completely reliant on the Canadian Coast Guard's icebreakers, Grant said.

The naval ship will participate in Operation Nanook, a joint mission starting Aug. 11 with the Canadian navy, army and air forces, in close co-operation with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Coast Guard [more details at this link].

"We'll be recording all the information about the activity that's going on around us," said Angus Topshee, executive officer of HMCS Toronto.

The operation will also involve exercises to practise a full-scale search and rescue mission, a fuel spill and a hostage-taking.

"We'll pretend to be a cruise ship and provide a hostage," Topshee said.

He said the operation is part of a broader strategy to establish a larger military presence in Canada's north.

"There is a presence, and it's a presence I think needs to grow."..


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no need to worry about ice . . . the Global Warming mob assured us a few weeks ago that there would be no ice at the North Pole for the "first time in human history".

There headline, not mine :)

12:44 p.m., July 24, 2008  

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