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By Murray Brewster (CP) – 3 hours ago
OTTAWA — The last time the Olympic Games were held in Canada, the military sent 42 soldiers to operate a logistics and distribution warehouse.
Oh, how times have changed. Back then, the country's solicitor general decided the security threat to the 1988 Calgary Winter Games "was such that security assistance from DND was not required," said a Defence Department briefing note, written in April 2008.
The RCMP and local police made up the security force in Calgary.
It seems quaint now, considering the police in Vancouver will be backed up by Afghanistan-hardened JTF-2 commandos and two battle group-sized formations of regular and reserve troops on land. Many of those troops have already deployed to the mountains and forests overlooking the venues.
There will also be frigates patrolling the waterways, CF-18 jet fighters screaming overhead and high-tech surveillance wizardry in the form of static surveillance balloons that are usually employed on the bomb-laced roadways of Kandahar.
In all, the Canadian military will field 4,500 soldiers, sailors and aircrew out of a total security force of 15,000. The federal and B.C. governments have set aside $900 million for the security operation.
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