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Remembrance Day Ceremony 2013 – Barrie Ontario – 152
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Image by antefixus21
Fern Taillefer and Bob George laid a wreath laid on behalf of the Canadian Association of Vetrans in United Nations Peacekeeping – Central Ontario Chapter.

Peacekeepers Park Signage, Angus, Ontario, Canada.

My name is Fern Taillefer, President of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP), Central Ontario Chapter located in Barrie. The Association is a non-profit organization as well as non-political and non sectarian. We wish to perpetuate the memories and deeds of our fallen comrades who lost their lives in defence of freedom, as well as donate to schools and public libraries, literature on Canada’s participation in the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces.
We have a National Monument in Ottawa to recognize the sacrifice and service of Canadians in United Nations missions. Various Chapters across Canada have memorials to recognize those efforts.

Our Chapter in Barrie has the unique opportunity to have a 2 ½ acre park leased from the Township of Essa known as PEACEKEEPERS’ PARK. The Royal Canadian Legion (Edward Macdonald Branch 499) in Angus is our partner in this endeavor with the Township. The piece of property donated by Essa Township was the brainchild of one of our members, Gerry Tremblay who was with the recovery team in 1974. He personally knew all of the members killed.

The initial idea and concept for the park was mine and when I presented it to the chapter it was unanimous. We approached a company called Curbex with our idea and they went with it. Artist concept then the research that had to be conducted to make sure I got all the names right etc. We started however with a huge stone which is described below.

In 2008, the Chapter raised ,000 to purchase and have installed at the park a large six ton polished maple leaf stone which we unveiled and dedicated on Aug 9th of that year to our Peacekeeping veterans. This completed phase one of our long range plans.

Contributions to date have allowed phase two of the plan which was the construction and erection in 2010 of a Memorial Wall which includes the names of 283 Canadians who have died while serving on United Nations missions. This includes 158 killed in Afghanistan, and three RCMP killed in Haiti. The cost of this phase was approximately ,000.00 Two of the members killed in Afghanistan were Military Policeman.

The vision of the park is to include recognition of all UN missions that involved Canadian participation. The current plan is to have pedestals placed along a (wheel chair accessible) path to identify the missions performed. There will be benches to sit on at each pedestal area placed on an interlocking brick pad. If you wish to have your name placed on the bench as a sponsor to the park, this can be arranged.
Due to cost, this will take several phases to complete. Plans include recognition of the effort and sacrifice by Canadian Forces in Korea, where 516 lives were lost.
The total expected cost of completing this project is expected to be well over 0 000.

Peacekeeping Day was created to recognize the service of Canadians in far-away places in the service of peace. Since 1948, members of Canada’s Armed Forces and Diplomatic service have served on peacekeeping missions around the world. Additionally, since 1992, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police forces have served in Peace Support missions around the world. It was to recognize the service of Canadians past, present and in the future that Peacekeeping Day was created.

9 August was chosen because on that date in 1974 the greatest single loss of Canadian lives on a peacekeeping mission occurred. Nine Canadian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Emergency Force in Egypt and Israel, were flying in a Canadian Forces "Buffalo" transport aircraft on UN service which was shot down by Syrian air defence missiles while preparing to land at Damascus, Syria on a regular resupply mission. There were no survivors. Two of these are from the Angus area. Every year family members attend the 9 Aug parade to remember and commemorate.

Canada’s first casualty on a peacekeeping mission occurred in 1951 when Acting-Brigadier HH Angle of Kamloops, BC died in a plane crash in Kashmir on the border between India and Pakistan. Since then, 114 members of the Canadian Armed Forces and one member of Canada’s diplomatic service have died in far-off lands in the service of peace. The spouse and mother of the deceased receive the Memorial Cross, a gesture of commemoration from the Government of Canada begun in 1919 for casualties of WW1 and continued for casualties of WW 2, the Korea conflict and for casualties on peacekeeping missions.

On this day, we recognize the families of our peacekeepers who keep up the morale of our peacekeepers with cards and letters, parcels and gifts. They play a central part too helping their spouses to adjust to the peace and tranquility of their home and country when they return.

We also recognize and thank other Canadians who have given freely of their time to support our Peacekeepers abroad. In particular are the ham radio operators who nightly have connected to the military ham radio operators calling from the missions and linked the peacekeepers to their families back in Canada. This most valuable service, always given freely, has been a strong element in maintaining family morale. We also thank the families that knit the "Izzy Dolls", small dolls given to the children whom Canadian peacekeepers meet as they patrol their assigned areas. Created by his family in memory of Master Corporal Mark Isfeld who died in 1994 while serving in the former Yugoslavia, the dolls have brought much pleasure to children in many countries suffering the ravages of brutal conflict.

Peacekeeping Day, 9 August is about recognition and commemoration; of peacekeepers past, present and yet to come and their families; recognition and thanks to those who help make the peacekeeping duty less arduous; and remembering our fallen comrades who have died in the service of peace.

I have included a photo of the wall as well as the official Ribbon Cutting ceremony with the Senior Peacekeeper General Meloche, myself, Paul Korejwo son of MWO Korejwo killed on 9 Aug 74 and Jack Stringer father of Cpl Stringer killed on 9 Aug 74.

The third photo is a concept of the park yet to come with plaques at various stations depicting the 58 missions Canada has been involved in in peacekeeping/peace support/peacemaking operations around the world. I have also enclosed a photo of the stone installed in 2008.

I would invite all members of the IPA to join us in our annual Peacekeepers Parade. You would be more than welcome.

If you need anymore info, please don’t hesitate to call.

In the service of peace;

Fern Taillefer
President

East African Coalition Logistics Conference, January 2011
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Image by US Army Africa
Delegates of the East African Coalition Logistics Conference pose for a group photo in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Jan. 6, 2011. The conference, hosted by Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, brought representatives from U.S. Africa Command and more than 10 African partner nations together to exchange ideas and discuss solutions to transportation and logistics issues in their countries.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kathrine McDowell

Military logistics officers gathered in Djibouti in early January to participate in the first East African Coalition Logistics Conference, hosted by Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa. The conference brought together logistics officers from U.S. Africa Command, its sub component commands for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and CJTF-HOA, as well as partner nations from more than 10 African countries, and South Korea.

The conference expanded understanding between partner-nation logistics operations, conducted international logistics orientations, established cooperative partner-nation relationships and built on these relationships for the future. African nation participants included Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Mauritius. Delegates from the African Union were also in attendance.

CJTF-HOA’s director of logistics and master of ceremonies, U.S. Navy Capt. Stephen LeBlanc, opened the conference with welcoming remarks followed by keynote addresses from U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti, James Swan; Air Force Brig. Gen. Barbara Faulkenberry, director of logistics for U.S. Africa Command; and Rear Adm. Brian Losey, CJTF-HOA commander.

“As logisticians, we know that when you look at the ability to accomplish a mission, whether that’s peacekeeping, responding to a national crisis, the defense of a nation, or the humanitarian response to a catastrophe, we think of the mission,” said Faulkenberry. Logistics provides the framework and connectivity in order for a mission to succeed, she said.

Following the formal presentations, logistics officers from each partner nation gave presentations to illustrate their individual logistical situations and unique opportunities to contribute to the over-arching partnerships among the countries.

Each country, represented by two officers, dove into their logistical processes, expounding on the issues and challenges they face operating within their country as well as across East Africa. Many countries experience similar challenges stemming from poor or emerging economies, recent rebellions, lack of proper infrastructure and challenges based on geographical terrain.

“Dealing with maintenance issues is not always easy,” said Lt. Col. Ali Aden Houmed of the Djiboutian National Army. “We also have some difficulty having qualified specialists for maintenance issues, so these issues give us a hard time. We have equipment coming from various countries for different projects. It’s good to have gifts from friends, but at the end of the day, it is difficult to keep that equipment working.”

The second day of the conference opened with additional presentations by partner-nation officers. LeBlanc also personally thanked all the participants. The conference culminated in an orientation and demonstration of the Pre-positional Expeditionary Assistance Kit (PEAK) system, which converts and purifies local water sources to potable water. The equipment can deliver benefits in a variety of medical, military and industrial situations, and does not adversely affect the environment.

The conference was hailed as a success in that it was a unique opportunity for U.S. military logisticians to share best practices with their military counterparts in East African countries, enabling them to have a stronger understanding and appreciation for logistical issues and solutions.

“There are major infrastructure programs in virtually every country in this region,” said Swan.

“New roads, new railway networks and new ports will clearly improve capabilities for logistics in the region in the future. Partner nations here in the region are heavily involved in efforts to improve the logistics base here in East Africa,” he said.

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