Monday, February 21, 2005

File under...

A Senate commitee was told that the Canadian Forces should have the means to deploy troops in an effective manner, even if it means using amphibious landing ships to carry it out.

Former Navy officer Richard Gimblett told that these ships could be acquired from the US Navy either as rentals or lend-lease items, thus giving soldiers expanded, enhanced capabilities.

"I don't like to use the word marines, because that conjures up visions of the United States marines landing on Okinawa," he said. "These would be sea soldiers."

He said his idea wouldn't involve troops storming ashore like something out of Saving Private Ryan. "For one thing, there aren't that many fortified beaches in the world."

But he does envisage landing against some opposition.

"The troops should be prepared to meet and project violence when they land," he said.

Although there has been talk about using "Made in Canada" designs - a long and arduous process in a country not necessarily known for warship-building capabilities, Gimblett suggested the lend-lease route as a better option.

"To try to design and produce our own, it adds years to the procurement," he said. "There are a lot of good designs out there."

When you consider that fact that virtually most navies have non-native designed warships in the water (i.e. the German MEKO A Class corvettes designed for the Malaysian and South African navies), this may not be a bad idea after all.

All that you have to do is contract a shipyard to take care of some modifications - because Canada has interesting climates and needs - and Bob's your uncle.

I wonder if Little Pauly Poopypants can see some of the logic here - after all, we are a special country with special needs, right, Pauly Poo?

He'll get around. I hope.

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