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Huge Olympic military deployment shows times have changed since Calgary

SARgirl

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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.

More on Link:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hRLeuxc46svbZXZtR14b2nDf0eeg
 
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aesop081

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How many troops were deployed for the 1976 Games in Montreal ?
 

Nfld Sapper

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I heard about 2k.....

But well before my time.......
 
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aesop081

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Well, my dad's battalion went to Montreal back then so i think it is fair to say that it was more than 42.

I'm just wondering what the point of the headline is. Seems to me like things haven't changed that much since the 76 games. Calgary may have been more of an oddity than anything else interms of troop requirements.
 

dapaterson

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Montreal was the first summer games post-Munich, which figured into the security plans.

Sources identify the security cost as $100M for the `76 games, equivalent to $360M today.  However, I`m not sure of how that $100M figure was derived.
 

larry Strong

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CDN Aviator said:
How many troops were deployed for the 1976 Games in Montreal ?

Operation "Gamescan" involved 16000 troops/personel.

http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/DLCD-DCSFT/pubs/archive/RN0102%20-%20S%20Maloney%20-%20Homeland%20Defence%20Jan%2001.pdf      pg32/33
 

PMedMoe

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Well, I'd say more than 42 personnel were at the Calgary Games.  There were medics doing coverage for the athletes as well.
 

Remius

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The article sounds like it is trying to stir a reaction from the public.  Look at the wording.  "Afghanistan hardened commandos", "CF 18s screaming overhead".  Then the comparison of 43 troops versus thousands.

The article is stating facts but the way it is presented is misleading.  If I didn't know better, that article made Vancouver look like it was under martial law.

Maybe if the journalist had compared the security situation with Olympics in the last 10 years in other countries instead of Calgary, he would be shocked to see that we are adapting to the times.  Of course times have changed since Calgary.   
 

Neill McKay

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dapaterson said:
Montreal was the first summer games post-Munich, which figured into the security plans.

Certainly, and the FLQ can't have been too far from peoples' minds at that time either.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Well I was up in Squamish last Saturday and it was clear that the military had seized and was holding in strength “FOB Tim Horton’s” Mind you it is strategically situated to control the highway into Whistler. You can park a LAV in the Tim’s Parking lot and easily cover a good 700m of Hwy and still have your ramp down to ensure a good supply of Double-doubles’ and fresh timbits!

Most of the people I saw are Signals and some Navy types. Although on my way to the gun range saw a lowbed bring in a BV206 (or similar)
 

old medic

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At 4500, It's very small compared to Montreal

http://www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/collection/film/?id=13012

Operation Gamescan 76

Directed by: Michael Brun
Produced by: Desmond Dew

This film describes the largest peacetime operation of the Canadian Forces. Sixteen thousand troops were involved in the organizational, logistic and security support program especially created for the XXI Olympiad held in 1976 in Montréal. They provided protection for 7500 athletes, countless VIPs and the general public on 138 sites located in Montréal, Bromont and Kingston, Ontario.

1977, 57 min 45 s
 

Aerobicrunner

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The BC Civil Liberties Association screened the film in Nov 2009 as part of its film festival. 

http://2010observers.bccla.org/2009/11/16/bccla-film-festival-adds-operation-gamescan-76/
 

Colin Parkinson

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I was to young to join for the games, but they had hired a lot of reserves to take part in it.
 

Fishbone Jones

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old medic said:
Operation Gamescan 76

Directed by: Michael Brun
Produced by: Desmond Dew

This film describes the largest peacetime operation of the Canadian Forces. Sixteen thousand troops were involved in the organizational, logistic and security support program especially created for the XXI Olympiad held in 1976 in Montréal. They provided protection for 7500 athletes, countless VIPs and the general public on 138 sites located in Montréal, Bromont and Kingston, Ontario.

.....and it was the biggest goat rodeo, complete with the overabundant compliment of self important douche nozzles, that I have ever seen in the full length of my military career.
 

Dog

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That's funny 'cause me and the boys have been saying the same thing about California.
 

stromrider

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At least one Sqn of Strats was used to marshall athletes for the opening and closing ceremonies in 88.
 

Jarnhamar

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I'm glad I'm not on Op Podium.

I'm utterly embarrassed by Canada's behavior with the Olympics and I would be ashamed to be a part of it, especially in uniform.
 

Strike

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Flawed Design said:
I'm glad I'm not on Op Podium.

I'm utterly embarrassed by Canada's behavior with the Olympics and I would be ashamed to be a part of it, especially in uniform.

How has Canada behaved that makes you so embarrased?

Very general comment there.
 

Jarnhamar

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I should be more clear.
Everything I'm hearing out of BC.  Not Canada persay such as the athletes behaviors but the organizers. From  Vancouvers "The good wifes" version of how to act to dealing with the homeless to censoring the signs people put in windows to the own the podium crap.
Canada didn't give other athletes the same training opportunities as we gave our own. The argument was that other countires do the very same to us so somehow it's fair.  I always felt Canada was better than that.
 

Strike

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Flawed Design said:
I should be more clear.
Everything I'm hearing out of BC.  Not Canada persay such as the athletes behaviors but the organizers. From  Vancouvers "The good wifes" version of how to act to dealing with the homeless to censoring the signs people put in windows to the own the podium crap.
Canada didn't give other athletes the same training opportunities as we gave our own. The argument was that other countires do the very same to us so somehow it's fair.  I always felt Canada was better than that.

I can understand your frustration with most of that, but not the "especially in uniform" part.  The CF has had no say in policy regarding athletes and what signs can be posted (signs are governed by IOC btw, not VANOC).  The public's reaction to the increased police presence has been very positive and their reaction to the CF is exactly what we want - most of them have said they can't even tell we're here.
 
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