Fred Rossi passed away peacefully at home, Wednesday, July 8th at the age of 86.
John Jessop spoke briefly with his daughter Renee, who is one of his neighbours, and she said that Fred didn't want anything fancy or big for a funeral. There will be only a small family ceremony to see him cremated with his ashes spread at sea near White Rock where he lived.
Fred came to 15 Fd in 1973 as the RSS Trg WO and retired as an MWO in 1979.
We don’t know much about Fred’s Reg Force career so could some of his old comrades fill us in please.
Those of us who knew Fred will remember him as great guy and a fine soldier.
Anybody have any good Rossi stories? Please pass them to us
Newsletter on line. This newsletter, and previous editions, are available on the RUSI Vancouver website at:http://www.rusivancouver.ca/newsletter.html
The 15 Field Officers Mess holds weekly lunches, serving a 5 course, ‘homemade’ meal for only $15- you won’t find a better meal - or a better deal, anywhere. If you are in the area on a Wednesday, drop in and join us for lunch.
The dress for Wednesday lunches is suit/blazer/sports jacket and tie. Dress for ladies is the equivalent. Your guests are always welcome but don’t forget to tell them about dress requirements BEFORE they come.
World War 2 - 1940
John Thompson Strategic analyst quotes from his book “Spirit Over Steel”
July 2nd : The German High Command (OKW) issues its first directive on the invasion of
England, calling on the Luftwaffe to “begin by interdicting shipping. A U-Boat sinks the Andorra Star and 800 people (mostly internees from Axis nations being sent to Canada) are drowned.
July 3rd : The British have been worried about the loyalties of French warships, fearing they
might return to Vichy France and end up in German hands. They act today; grabbing two battleships, nine destroyers and many smaller vessels in Portsmouth and Plymouth, while the Mediterranean fleet (with Resolution, Valiant and Hood) bombards the French anchorage at Mers-el-Kebir in Algeria, sinking the battleship Bretagne and badly damaging Provence and Dunkerque. Other French ships in Alexandria remain at anchor, pending the outcome of negotiations between the British and their officers. They will remain at anchor until 1943.
July 4th : The war expands to East Africa as two Italian brigades make a tentative invasion into British owned Sudan at Kassala and Gallabat. The Romanians form a new cabinet, one with strong Pro-German and anti-Jewish opinions. In an air raid on Portland England, Leading Seaman Jack Foreman Mantle is manning an Oerlikon 20mm anti-aircraft cannon on HMS Foylebank. Severely wounded by a bomb blast and receiving many smaller wounds from other splinters later in this action, he continues to train and fire his gun until he collapses and dies. He is posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
July 5th : Outraged over the British attack at Mers-el-Kebir, Petain’s government breaks off
relations with the UK and dispatches torpedo bombers in a failed attempt to raid Gibraltar.
July 6th : Ark Royal sends aircraft to hit the damaged Dunkereque at Mers-el-Kebir, inflicting
more damage on this fast and powerful battleship. Besides this raid, the Royal Navy’s Force H in the Mediterranean will also have to position itself to protect a convoy from an Italian Force of two battleships and 20 cruisers. The first U-Boats put into the French Atlantic ports.
July 7th : The commander of the French fleet in Alexandria agrees to let his ships be
demobilized by the British (and so they are until June 1943), so the Battleship Lorraine, three heavy cruisers, a light cruiser, 3 destroyers and a submarine will sit idle with confined crews. A small British unit attacks the French Battleship Richelieu at its anchorage in Dakar.
Innovations in Maritime Defence
28 May 2015
At CANSEC, Rheinmetall is once again displaying a broad spectrum of its defence technology systems and products, emphasising its wide-ranging expertise in the maritime domain. Rheinmetall’s special strengths also consist of integrating and networking components and systems produced by partner companies, which a comprehensive multimedia presentation makes clear. Using a frigate as an example, the presentation includes various options for integrating the latest effectors, sensors and protection systems. Among the effectors is the operationally proven Rheinmetall Oerlikon Millennium gun which, thanks to its advanced Oerlikon AHEAD ammunition, is capable of neutralising incoming fast attack craft as well as rockets, artillery, missile and mortar threats. Also featuring prominently are the remote control 20mm and 25mm gun stations of Oerlikon’s Searanger family. The Umkhonto vertical launch air defence missile is also shown in its extended range form, featuring an intelligent dual-pulse rocket motor. The Seaguard Advanced Fire Control System is a prime example of the group’s network-capable naval technology. It enables autonomous configuration, control of third-party guns as well as connection to radar and sensor systems. The latter include the Oerlikon Seaguard Biax and Triax, the company’s two- and three-axis radar tracking and fire control systems.
The sensor domain encompasses its X-TAR 3D search radar, the MSP 600 multisensor platform and FIRST fast infrared search and track surveillance and alerting system – the latter in hardware form. Serving as examples of the group’s protection capabilities are its Multi Ammunition Softkill System (MASS), which is already in service with the Royal Canadian Navy, and advanced ballistic protection packages for reinforcing ship infrastructure. In co- operation with Elbit Systems of Israel, Rheinmetall Canada is displaying a remote control weapon station for .50 and 7.62mm calibre guns, which the partners are putting forward as their entry in the Royal Canadian Navy’s Naval Remote Weapons Station competition. Visitors to the Rheinmetall stand can also inspect the Rapid Access fire protection system, made by CBG. Rheinmetall Canada serves as sales partner for this tried-and-tested technology.
Also on hand is the 76mm Maske bi-spectral smoke/ obscurant cartridge. Maske protects armoured vehicles against weapon systems equipped with visual and infrared targeting technology, laser target illuminators and laser rangefinders. Available in 66mm and 76mm versions, it consists of a fast-acting decoy module and a long-lasting smoke/obscurant module. Rheinmetall is also showcasing its soldier systems, including Argus, aimed at the Canadian Army’s Integrated Soldier System Project; its leading simulation and training technology; examples of its comprehensive range of weapons and ammunition in all calibres; and new products such as Solar Shield for camouflage and heat protection, and the air-supported Persistent Survival System.
Kijiji Launches Special Ad Designation to Help Veterans Find Jobs
By Mark Carcasole Reporter Global News
Kijii has launched “Veteran Friendly” ads in an attempt to attract veterans to jobs online. Roughly 1,700 jobs were posted on day one. Mark Carcasole reports.
TORONTO – Many Canadian military vets say one of the biggest struggles they encounter when returning to civilian life is finding a good job. Their skills, they’re often told, are not transferable. David Blasman had his last release from the military in April and since then, he says he can’t find a job. Having served in the Arctic and Afghanistan, he says he has no shortage of learned skills: “I like to emphasize the leadership skills in the Canadian Forces…It’s the best training you’ll get in Canada,” he says. “You have people with background in logistics, communications…project management, it’s huge.” According to Blasman, one of the biggest challenges job-seeking vets face is having their education acknowledged, because much of what they learn isn’t taught in college or university. “A lot of our career is classroom work, believe it or not,” he says. “It’s just that qualification, it does not carry on into the civilian world.”
A 2014 report by Canada Veteran’s Affairs would say Blasman is in a minority, but still a sizable group. Surveying reserve and regular force vets released from the military between 1998 and 2012, the report shows unemployment levels between five and seven percent in all classes. It claims reservists saw an over 80 percent employment rate in 2013, while regular force vets were 71 percent-employed that year. Through all classes, over 10% were identified as not in the workforce; and of those who reported working, depending on class, eight to 12 percent reported working low income jobs.
Classified site Kijiji is trying to put veterans in touch with companies willing to give them a fair shake with a new “Veteran Friendly” job designation; allowing employers posting jobs to signify that veterans would be “highly considered.” So far, over 1,700 such jobs have been posted Canada-wide for everything from sous chef to painter, receptionist, truck driver and security guard. Construction contractor Damon Bennett worked with Kijiji on the initiative. The owner of Bennett Construction says he regularly hires vets to work his jobs and hasn’t had a bad experience. “There’s no obstacle that’s too big for them, they’re willing to tackle anything,” he says, describing this as an important initiative to him. As for Blasman, he’s headed for film school soon but his job search continues. He says vets aren’t looking for handouts; “All we want to do is just prove our skill set and then get in the working world.”
Hitler’s Aircraft Carrier
By Núria Puyuelo Gispert | Bank of Bermuda Foundation
The German Kriegsmarine never really embraced the use of aircraft carriers in WW2. Hitler
showed little interest in this type of naval vessel and its operation. The chief of the Luftwaffe, Herman Goering, was always jealous of his command over all forms of aircraft, and did all in his considerable power to stymie Admiral Raeder’s plan to build up to four aircraft carriers. In
1935. Hitler announced a plan for the Navy to acquire aircraft carriers. Two keels were laid
down in 1936, and in 1938, Grand Admiral Erich Raeder produced his Plan Z, a grand scheme
to build four Carriers and complete them by 1945, but in 1939 this was scaled back to just two. It was naval policy to not actually name a ship until it was launched. The first laid down Carrier was designated Aircraft Carrier A, to be named Graf Zeppelin at her launch in 1938. The second, Aircraft Carrier B, was never launched. Come May in 1941, Raeder informed Hitler that Graf Zeppelin, about 85% completed, would be finally finished the next year. But Herman Goering was no help, he told both Hitler and Raeder he was unable to supply the Navy with aircraft for Graf Zeppelin until the end of
1944. His delaying tactics worked: Aircraft Carrier B was abandoned, and broken up. By 1943 Adolf Hitler was not too interested in anything Navy, and the frustrated Raeder asked to be relieved, he was accommodated by Hitler, and Karl Donitz, the Submarine chief took charge. He was not at all interested in seeing an aircraft carrier gaining more focus than his beloved U-Boat arm, and all work on Graf Zeppelin stopped, notwithstanding she was 95% completed. The ship had her armament stripped out of her, and sent off to Norway for coastal battery use.
At war’s end in 1945, to ensure this ship did not fall into Russian hands, Graf Zeppelin was scuttled in shallow water off Stettin in Poland, on April 25, 1945. Under the terms of the Allied Tripartite Commission, Graf Zeppelin should have been destroyed or scuttled in deep water by August 15th. 1946. But not so: the Russians decided to repair the Carrier and she was refloated in March 1946, no doubt loaded with loot from the conquered Poland. It was unsure, post WW2, what had been the fate of Graf Zeppelin until the Soviet archives were opened up. It appears the carrier was towed from Poland to Leningrad, unloaded and designated PO-101 (ie floating base Number 101) the Russians wanted to repair the ship at Leningrad as all the repairfacilities at Stettin had been destroyed. But this did not happen, and again Graf Zeppelin was towed off to the Polish coast. On the Polish coast on August 16th 1947 the ill-fated carrier was used as target practice for both Soviet aircraft and naval ships. After taking 24 bombs and projectiles the ship was still afloat. Finally two torpedoes did the job, and the carrier sank. The actual position of her sinking was unknown for many years, but in 2006, the Polish Oil Company ship Petrobaltic found a 265 metre long wreck close to the port of Leba. On July 27,
2006. the Polish Navy survey ship ORP Arctowski confirmed the find was indeed the wreck of Graf Zeppelin, sitting at 264 feet below the surface. The grand plan of Grand Admiral Erich Raeder never ever came to fruition, Germany did not produce a completed Aircraft Carrier in WW2. A proud ship, never destined to be commissioned, post WW2, was merely used as target practice by a previous enemy. A sad end for such a ship, once part of a scheme for the German Navy to get its wings.
'Hero' Rats Sniff Out Tuberculosis and Landmines in Africa
The rodents undergo rigorous tests to detect TB samples and hidden TNT.
One of the most difficult problems with tuberculosis is detecting it. In 2007, for example, half of all cases in Tanzania were missed, adding to a large death toll. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.5 million people die of tuberculosis yearly. One organization, launched in 1997, has an unusual solution: use 18-inch- long "HeroRATs" to sniff out the disease in samples provided by TB clinics. In Tanzania, HeroRATs have identified over 6,500 tuberculosis-positive samples (read: patients) where the diagnosis was initially missed by microscopy tests at local laboratories. This represents a 40 percent increase in the detection rate. The rats are remarkably accurate.
The HeroRATs idea was devised by Bart Weetjens, a Buddhist monk and the founder of APOPO, an organization that researches, develops and deploys rat-detection technology for humanitarian purposes. The other half of APOPO’s work is mentioned in its name, a Dutch acronym meaning Anti-Personnel Land Mines Detection Product Development. Similar to tuberculosis detection, where rats identify positive patients by sniffing sputum samples, rats trained to detect land mines are taught how to detect TNT. The training begins when the rats are 4 weeks old; trainers start handling them and introduce them to the sounds, textures and smells of the human world. The next stage is click training where the rats learn to associate a click sound with a food reward. Once they know click means food, the trainers start scent discrimination. They present small metal containers -- some with TNT, some without -- to the rats who then differentiate between them. Before receiving HeroRAT status and working in real minefields, each rat must ace a rigorous series of accredited APOPO tests and certifications by the National Institute of Demining in the respective country that the HeroRAT will be working.
Since the beginning of mine-removal operations in 2007, HeroRAT teams — humans and rats side-by-side — have returned over 10.9 million square meters of land to the Mozambique population, removing over 13,000 mines. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines reports that over 73,576 casualties worldwide from 1999 to 2009 were land-mine related, and in 2007 there were 5,426 recorded casualties, with nearly a fifth of them in 24 African countries. The need for a worldwide low-cost highly effective solution to both land mines and tuberculosis detection is apparent and Weetjens hopes to fill that void, “APOPO is now standardizing our HeroRATs technology to enable large scale deployment and significantly increase the impact of our humanitarian action. This will include expanding our operations to new countries as well as researching new scent-detection applications for our HeroRATs."
Conservatives Make Defence Announcements in Run-Up to Election
More from David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen June 22, 2015
A new search-and-rescue training centre will be built in British Columbia, giving the Conservative government yet another high-profile project to announce in the run-up to the federal election, the Citizen has learned. The government is rolling out a number of defence announcements in the coming weeks. Those include an announcement Tuesday by Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino that Colt Canada of Kitchener, Ont. is getting a contract to work on new rifles for the Canadian Rangers. On Friday, Defence Minister Jason Kenney and Public Works Minister Diane Finley announced the arrival of the first six Cyclone maritime helicopters. Government ministers will also announce later in the summer that a new radar system, as well as a fleet of trucks, has been purchased for the Army.
The announcements are designed to deflect criticism of the Conservatives that they have bungled the job of purchasing equipment for the Canadian military, say Department of National Defence sources. Industry representatives have been waiting years for some of the contracts to be awarded. For instance, the project to buy 1,500 new trucks for the army was originally announced in 2006. In other cases the acquisitions are small, such as the purchase of new rifles for the Rangers, but the government hopes to gain positive publicity in certain regions in the run-up to the October federal election. The need for the training centre on the west coast was added to the requirements companies must meet if they are to win the contract to provide the Royal Canadian Air Force with new fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft. The centre is to be located at Canadian Forces Base Comox, B.C. and would be a state-of-the-art building that is home to aircraft simulators and other training facilities for search-and-rescue crews. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was scheduled to travel to CFB Comox at the end of May for the announcement. But that was put on hold because he needed to be present for the Halifax news conference at which Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced he was leaving federal politics. Military sources say the search-and-rescue aircraft project, announced by the Conservatives nine years ago, is still years away from delivering an aircraft. But now that the bids have been requested from companies, it provides the government with another opportunity to announce some details of the project. Industry representatives say the training centre at Comox is a new addition to the requirements that had been previously outlined.
The Conservatives have faced criticism from both the Liberals and NDP for the military equipment programs that have run into delays. Finley has defended the government’s record, noting it has boosted the military’s budget and has had success in purchasing gear for the Canadian Forces. She has pointed to both the ongoing shipbuilding programs and the government’s management of the Cyclone helicopter program as examples. The Citizen reported last week that DND has raised concerns that the engines on the Cyclones may not have the power to perform some missions outlined for the aircraft. DND officials say that helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky is working to fix the problem. Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray said the various announcements are attempts by the Conservatives to deflect attention from the failed military procurement system they have managed over the last nine years.
Military Confirms New Search and Rescue Centre
Comox, Trenton and Greenwood all in the running.
David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen June 25, 2015
New planes will replace the DeHavilland CC-115 Buffalo aircraft in use now, as well
as some older Hercules.
I had an article earlier this week about a new Canadian Forces search and rescue training centre to be established at Canadian Forces Base Comox, British Columbia. It would be a state-of-the-art building that is home to aircraft simulators and other training facilities for search and rescue crews. It is all part of the Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft (FWSAR) project and companies will be required to include the training centre in their bids. After the article appeared the Canadian Forces confirmed that the centre would indeed be built. But DND/CF officials said that a specific location has yet to be selected for a search and rescue training centre. “The Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue project includes a basing solution, including training centre, to be proposed by bidders,” DND spokeswoman Ashley Lemire stated in an email to Defence Watch. “The request for proposals (RFP) requires that a training centre meet certain requirements, specifically proximity to open water and certain terrain. While Comox would meet this requirement, of the current fixed-wing SAR Main Operating Bases, Greenwood and Trenton would also be considered acceptable locations should the successful bidder propose these sites. The final location will be announced once the contract is awarded.”
Who is it?
Last Week: This photo was taken on a shoot in 1954 or 55 in Ft Lewis. Rear row L-R Vic
Stevenson, Les Strike, ? ( poss Ron Webster), Barrie Clemons, (poss Ekford), (poss Bill Jackson), ?, ?. Front Row: Gord Platt, ?. The chap wearing the Forage cap is a Padre but no one has come up with a name yet.
This Week: As an antidote to the heat we’ve been experiencing recently, let’s
go back to a chillier time, when burley, moustachioed lads (and some lasses (?), minus the moustaches), clad in cold weather clothing, man-handled an artillery piece on
a long-forgotten range. Please note the white material in the bottom left of the photo, and feel the cool!
The photo was possibly taken in 1973, by the late Vic Stevenson, and that date certainly goes with the equipment, clothing and hairy styles. This photo, from Vic’s personal collection, has not been accessioned, so there is no detail about it. Therefore, kind readers, we rely on your razor-sharp memories to help us identify the where and the who of this antique image. Maybe one of these stylish gunners is you (wishing now for some of that long-lost hair)?
For a photo you can zoom in on, email the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
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