Debating Defence and Naval Policy (XII)

David Perry: Again, a historical reminder made it clear that the situation was hardly new. Gimblett explained that the record of Canadian naval force development provided an alarming trend:

“Every 20 years or so we go through a boom and bust cycle: the changing security environment demands we build up a very workable little fleet (lately of world class), we get a couple of very good op cycles and accolades from our allies out of it, but then we begin to starve it by having not bought enough spares to keep it fit, then penny-pinch till finally it fritters away into the rust-bucket butt of media jokes. The inspired design of the Halifax-class and the "Trumped" 280s really transform us into a world-class "medium power" navy. That was the fleet that made Canada a world leader for the Second Gulf War, Operation Apollo, when we commanded the coalition naval effort in the Arabian Sea for the better part of two years after the 9/11 attacks - not that the government of the day appreciated the wonderful foreign policy tool it had at its disposal.”

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