March 25, 2012 David Pugliese - Defence Watch
Lee Berthiaume of Postmedia News, who is with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his Asia-Pacific trip, reports that government officials announced that Canada is negotiating with Japan to establish a military logistics base. The idea behind the support hub is in case the Canadian Forces need to have a staging area to react quickly should the need arise in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Canadian Forces is undoubtedly hoping this support hub goes more smoothly than the one that is to be established in Germany.
You might recall that German politicians and members of the public rejected the Defence Department’s plans to create a military logistics base near Cologne, telling the Canadians they’ll have to go elsewhere.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay had announced the support hub in February with great fanfare. It was to be located at Germany’s Cologne-Bonn Airport (or as it is called in German, Köln-Bonn). MacKay released the news during a visit to Ottawa by German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere.
But MacKay’s plan came as a complete surprise to the public and local politicians in Germany, who say they were never consulted, and who are against the move. “The airport of a major city is not the right location for additional military air traffic,” Cologne Lord Mayor Juergen Roters said.
The Cologne-Bonn Airport is one of the busiest in Germany and locals are against having additional military aircraft operate from there because of the added noise pollution. The airport serves Bonn, Cologne and the surrounding area.
The airport’s management has also rejected hosting the Canadian hub, saying they were surprised by MacKay’s announcement.