CFB Snowbirds

LETTER – Money funneled into CFB Snowbirds could be used for more practical training

Dear editor,

Sure, when I was a kid 60 years ago I was proud to be a Canadian watching the state-of-the-art Snowbirds doing aeronautical tricks.

I remember feeling so amazingly proud watching an F-18 streaking off to protect my Canada.

Things have changed. There is a growing awareness of climate change with unforeseen consequences to our grandchildren. World military accounts for 20 to 25 per cent of fossil fuels consumed. As I watch CFB’s antique P3s lumbering in circles around Comox, with their brown exhaust trails following, I wonder what possible use they could be in a conflict. I feel sorry for the men and women in the search and rescue who are using Mulrooney-era helicopters that even in good weather put the SAR techs in danger.

Don’t tell Putin or Xi Jinping, this is classified even above the Canadian chain of command, “Canada has no strategic defence.”

I would be proud if I knew our military was using its engineers, which cost the Canadian taxpayer a million dollars a pop, to design and build strategic weapons and rescue equipment in the hangers of CFB Comox. Imagine a command centre that protects us against cyber attacks, a hanger filled with prototypes of long-range cruise missiles, a deterrent to invaders of Canada, or how about a remote-controlled all weather lithium-powered rescue drone. A machine with a four-hour capacity, can travel 160 knots, be anywhere in the Georgia basin in 30 minutes, has 16 high-resolution cameras, can manoeuvre a net under victims and carry them quickly and safely to shore, can deploy a line to boaters and tow them out of harms way without any danger to the men and women in the search and rescue squadron.

Canadians can be proud that we have this capacity. Instead, our military is 50 years out of step training its engineers to fly antique four-engine airplanes with no strategic value that are contributing to climate change.

I would be proud to watch a squadron of rescue drones performing over Comox Bay that were built at CFB Comox using the capital and human resources that presently go into the Snowbirds.

Angus Ramsey,


Letter to the Editor