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Camp Mirage Superthread

GAP

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Winding down Kandahar mission to cost Canada another $90 million
  Article Link
By Matthew Fisher, Postmedia News January 31, 2011

SPANGDAHLEM, Germany — It will probably cost Canada an extra $90 million to sustain and then wind up its mission in Kandahar by the end of the year because its military aircraft are still banned from the United Arab Emirates, according to calculations by Postmedia News.

Several senior officers have confirmed that the previously cited $300 million — which was widely reported in the media and attacked by the opposition in November — was far too high as the cost of leaving the U.A.E. base.

But the military and the Harper government have not provided a breakdown of the additional costs that will be incurred because the military has had to shift its air hub for Kandahar from Camp Mirage in Dubai to a U.S. airbase at Spangdahlem, Germany.

A fairly accurate calculation was awaiting a decision on which alternate airfields the military might end up using and how much cargo would be shipped home or left behind in Afghanistan to be sold, donated or thrown away.

Enough information is available now, however, to make a rough estimate of the cost of closing down Mirage.

Based on conversations with planners and others who will work on the move, it appears that Canada's four C-17s may clock about 3,400 additional flying hours as the result of having lost access to Dubai. Those flights have been going directly to Germany since before Christmas, when a small military team was withdrawn from what was a temporary arrangement in Cyprus.

Right now, there are about one sustainment and two passenger flights to and from Germany every week. They have been using a southern route that loops around Iran before heading north again.

Each round trip to Kandahar generally involves about 20 hours of flying time, compared to about five hours in the air for a round trip between Kandahar and Dubai.

However, a shorter route north from Kandahar over Turkmenistan and then across eastern Europe, which was tested by a C-17 last week, will cut the round trip from southern Afghanistan to Germany by more than 4,000 kilometres and about 15 hours.

This new route is expected to become operational sometime in early February. From then on a team of C-17 pilots, loadmasters and technicians will be based at Kandahar Airfield.

Beginning sometime in the spring, when the pullout of materiel from Kandahar begins, cargo flights will land at Cyprus if, as seems likely, that Mediterranean island nation becomes the transit point, with the rest of the journey to Canada being made by sea.

A C-17 takes about 12 hours to make a return trip from Kandahar to Cyprus.
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captloadie

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Either the C-17s are going to start going supersonic on the new route, or someone needs to rewrite this piece so it makes more sense. I don't think they mean it will reduce the trip to 15 hours, not by 15 hours.

These reporters must be speaking with different movers than I am. It doesn't make much economical sense to repat all the equipment by air to Cyprus when there are some overland routes that can be used for generic equipment and sea containers.
 

GAP

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He's saying the trip now takes 20 hours.....if they fly north west and cross Europe, it takes 5 hours....no?
 

armyvern

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captloadie said:
...

These reporters must be speaking with different movers than I am. It doesn't make much economical sense to repat all the equipment by air to Cyprus when there are some overland routes that can be used for generic equipment and sea containers with generic equipment in them.

Have you seen the new CTAT/ITAR interim policy [awaiting the DAOD]?? Not too much is considered generic these days, nor transportable without the almighty "accompanied by" pers holding the appropriate levels of security clearance. That'd be the kicker to assuming the bulk can be transported overland through, let's say, not-so-friendly territory.



 

captloadie

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There lies the problem. Why is so much of the stuff over there considered ITAR equipment? If the decision is to ship back all the computer equipment, furniture, uniforms, vehicle spares, etc, why fly it? Alot of equipment made its way in unescorted, so logically it should be able to leave unescorted as well. I mean, when NATO is having discussions with certain nations to allow Armoured vehicles to be shipped in via rail, how concerned are they really with breaching ITAR regulations.

And ask the Germans, Brits, and the US, just to name a few, about what they ship through some of these, ahem, not so friendly countries that don't start with PAK but still end in STAN.
 

armyvern

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captloadie said:
There lies the problem. Why is so much of the stuff over there considered ITAR equipment? If the decision is to ship back all the computer equipment, furniture, uniforms, vehicle spares, etc, why fly it? Alot of equipment made its way in unescorted, so logically it should be able to leave unescorted as well. I mean, when NATO is having discussions with certain nations to allow Armoured vehicles to be shipped in via rail, how concerned are they really with breaching ITAR regulations.

And ask the Germans, Brits, and the US, just to name a few, about what they ship through some of these, ahem, not so friendly countries that don't start with PAK but still end in STAN.

It made its way unaccompanied back in the day when regulations pertaining to its handling were different.

I don't know who assigns the ratings (usually US - for their technology), but the law says we have to follow them because Canada (regardless of what other nations do) says we have to. The troops who are deploying on MCU are receiving trg in how to 'challenge' those to drop to lower ratings, but at the end of the day ...
 

mover1

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The flights for passengers will be a lot shorter once the Airbus starts going into theater. Thank goodness too.  I like you guys but I hate taking passengers. The C-17 is a great cargo aircraft but someone keeps insisting that we travel with pax and in those god awful seat pallets too.

I get from the article that the writer assumes that the C-17 is in theater all the time. Well that is a misnomer. When Mirage was open we did weekly flights from Canada to KAF. All HLTA flights were with the Hercs. Now as a stop gap we have had the C-17 in theater since the last Rip and we have been rotating crews in and out. Sure its extra hours but still thats the cost of doing business.
 

PuckChaser

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Don't stop flying pax in it yet, I still want to check C-17 off my "fly list".  >:D
 

MarkOttawa

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Air Canada right to resist--from NY Times business section:

Emirates’ Ambitions Worry European Rivals
Emirates’ growing reach, from its Dubai hub, is unnerving rivals like Lufthansa and Air France.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/business/13emirates.html

...
Emirates, for instance, offers 184 flights a week from Dubai to India, to cities like Ahmedabad, the commercial hub in the state of Gujarat. It flies to 17 cities in Africa and, in China, to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. It runs two daily flights to Bangkok and nine to Australia [emphasis added, QUANTAS very unhappy
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/qantas-mayday-on-foreign-flights/story-e6frg9io-1225999785592 ].

The strategy has prompted a strong reaction from airlines like Air France and Lufthansa of Germany. These carriers hope to persuade their governments to limit Emirates’ access to French and German airports...

In Canada, discussions to expand Emirates’ landing rights took a particularly bitter turn. After the Canadian government turned down Emirates’ request to fly to Calgary and Vancouver and to increase the frequency of flights to Toronto, the United Arab Emirates scrapped a military agreement that allowed Canadian forces to use a logistical base near Dubai.

Craig Jenks, an airline consultant based in New York, says Emirates threatens established carriers in the one market where these airlines are making money: long-haul international trips. “There’s nothing better than a highly motivated cowboy airline in a small country,” he says...

Mark
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Rifleman62

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Mark, I wonder if that article will ever see the light of day in any Canadian media (less the NP, SUN).
 

The Bread Guy

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On February 16, Saeima Speaker Solvita Aboltina (Unity) met with the Canadian Ambassador to Latvia Scott Heatherington, during which the two sides discussed possibilities in increasing economic cooperation between the two countries, including the possible transit of non-military cargo from Canada to Afghanistan via Riga Port, LETA was informed by the Saeima's press service.

''Relations between Latvia and Canada have historically been very good, with cooperation on the parliamentary level especially active the past several years,'' Aboltina said. In January of last year, the Speaker of the Canadian Senate Noel A. Kinsella visited Latvia, whilst in 2008, then Saeima Speaker Gundars Daudze (Union of Greens and Farmers) visited Canada. Aboltina accented that economic cooperation between Latvia and Canada is one of the areas still with much room for development.

(....)

Aboltina also invited Canada to consider using Latvia as a transit country to send non-military goods to Afghanistan. Heatherington confirmed Canada will evaluate the possibility of sending goods to its troops in Afghanistan using the Northern Transit Corridor through Latvia. The ambassador went on to say that Riga Port has received good reviews in regard to the transport of goods to Afghanistan.
A bit more here.
 

The Bread Guy

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That'll teach ya, UAE....
Today, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, as part of two days of meetings in the Middle East, stewarded the signing of a Canada-Kuwait Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Memorandum of Understanding is a framework document to allow for logistical support to Canadian operations in Afghanistan.

Canada and Kuwait enjoy a steadfast friendship and strong bilateral relations.

“Canada proudly deployed over 4,000 Canadian Forces personnel to the campaign to liberate Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War and our friendship has grown stronger over the past twenty years,” said Minister MacKay. “Kuwait is an influential partner in the region and we are very pleased that this agreement has been reached for the benefit our respective countries.”

The movement of equipment and vehicles from Afghanistan requires access to both an airport and sea terminal for the transhipment of materiel back to Canada. The establishment of this support presence in Kuwait allows this to happen in a safe and controlled environment ....
Source:  CF news release, 11 Jul 11 - backgrounder here, and mainstream media coverage here and here.
 

The Bread Guy

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From the "hindsight being 20-20" section of The Economist:
.... Switching operations to Kuwait will cost the Canadian government hundreds of millions of dollars in moving expenses and rent payments. A souring of relations could also hurt Canada’s business dealings with its biggest trading partner in the Middle East. And Canadian travellers will be stuck paying higher fares: a round-trip from Toronto to Dubai last week cost C$1,000 more on Air Canada than on Air Emirates.

The Canadian government seems to have realised belatedly that it had little to gain from squabbling with the UAE: John Baird, who became its minister of foreign affairs following a national election on May 2nd, met the Emirati ambassador at last on July 5th. Had his predecessor done so earlier, Canadian soldiers might still be based in Dubai today.
More here.
 

armyvern

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mover1 said:
I like you guys but I hate taking passengers. The C-17 is a great cargo aircraft but someone keeps insisting that we travel with pax and in those god awful seat pallets too.

Ahhh, but I preferred the ride with you over the herc ... even with those awesome seat pallets. I just avoid the first row.  ;)
 

Loachman

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Not for everybody. I don't like them at all. I prefer the second row from the front of the airline seats - there is more legroom than in the following rows, and it's closer to the sandwich boxes.
 

Jammer

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I have the math down perfect to get best seat depending on how the Herc is configured...(It helps to know the loadie as well). I haven't quite got it yet for the C-17 though....given enough time however.
 
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