I’ve been following the news of the devastation in Haiti, as has anyone with a trace of human compassion. Canada has made some good moves to help. But we could have done more, if only we had the equipment to do so.
Specifically Canada needs at least three Assault ships, like the French Mistral Class Amphibious Assault Vessel.
Why do we need them? Because ships like this have capabilities that would be of great use in the humanitarian role. Think. The Mistral includes a 69 bed floating hospital, and is capable of transporting over 100 vehicles, with 45o soldiers, along with supplies. The ability to despatch ships like this, as backup for the Disaster Assistance Response Team would give Canada increased abilities to help when disaster strikes.
And disaster will continue to strike. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tidal waves, and other disasters will happen, whether we plan for them or not. By planning ahead, we can help our neighbours, and ourselves.
Yes, it will be expensive. But Canada is one of the few nations rich enough to afford to be able to do this, and because we can, we should.
Saturday January 16, 2010
Note: Three ships would be required so that two would be in continuous service, one on each coast, with the third being either in reserve or refit.