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Canada unveils new army structure to cut costs

13 may 2012, 16:23
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Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay. Photo courtesy of sott.net
Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay. Photo courtesy of sott.net
Canada unveiled a shake-up in the command structure of its armed forces Friday in a bid to cut costs and streamline the 68,000-strong force, which has played a key role in Afghanistan, AFP reports.

A new Canadian Joint Operations Command will bring together various branches of the army under one command that will be in charge of operations in Canada, North America and across the world.

CJOC will be introduced over the coming months and will be headed up by a lieutenant-general, Defense Minister Peter MacKay said in statement.

"Transformation is built on some hard-learned lessons from a period of unrelenting operational pace," MacKay added.

"It will give the (Canadian forces) the agility to adapt as the future security environment dictates at the best cost to Canadian taxpayers."

The initiative will "result in a 25 percent reduction in national-level command and control overhead, and it will make more efficient use of administrative resources," the statement added.

General Walter Natynczyk, chief of the Defense Staff of the Canadian Forces, said CJOC "will result in a smaller, more efficient organization that will continue to deliver the same excellence in operational support to all of our people, at home and abroad."

The Canadian Royal Navy recently announced similar changes, bringing together five naval schools under one training authority.

Canada lowered its flag in Afghanistan in early December after dismantling its base at Kandahar Airfield, marking the end of its longest-running combat mission, which cost the lives of 157 Canadian troops and over $11 billion.

Canadian soldiers remain deployed in Afghanistan but as part of a mission to train Afghan troops, while Canadian sailors are taking part in a NATO mission in the Mediterranean.

Canadian Blue Helmets are also deployed in various parts of the world as UN peacekeeping troops.

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