The Canadian military has embarked on a wide-ranging plan to turn its reserve soldiers into focused units trained and equipped to respond to a nightmarish array of domestic threats, including terrorist "dirty bomb" attacks, biological agent containment, Arctic catastrophes and natural disasters.
The creation of seven units within each region of the country -- including unusual all-terrain vehicle (ATV) squadrons and perimeter security teams to cordon areas of potential devastation -- prepares reserve soldiers for operations on the "domestic front" while freeing regular force soldiers to concentrate on foreign battlefields. "There is a recognition, certainly within the military and we have heard the government say, that domestic security is the number one priority.
A number of these conclusions come from the post-9/11 world we live in," said Brigadier-General Jean Collin, commander of the army in Ontario, during an exclusive interview with the National Post.
"The reality is an army needs to train, an army needs to equip itself and an army needs to be ready."
""We are training to establish a perimeter. Do I see a scenario when we might be obliged to keep people in? Probably. You need to be trained to be able to make sure that you don't become a casualty in the process of doing that security."
We are training to establish a perimeter. Do I see a scenario when we might be obliged to keep people in? Probably.