Near catastrophe for Canadian military

Heads of navy, army and air force were on plane that just missed a mid-air collision

The Toronto Star has reported that in April, Canada came close to losing nine of its most senior military leaders in the near-collision of a government Challenger jet and a commercial jetliner over British Columbia. In light of the incident, questions are being raised as to why the military allowed several military officials to travel together. “It is common sense not to have your key leaders together in one vehicle or one plane,” said Susan Gurley, executive director of the U.S.-based Association of Corporate Travel Executives. “Most global corporations have these very clear travel policies in place and they enforce them because they won’t want to be in the position where something happens and the company is rudderless.” But Canadian Forces do not have a policy to restrict the travel of senior leadership, a failing that exposes the military to serious risk in the event of an accident. One official said yesterday that the military does consider splitting up commanders when they travel abroad, but not in a “domestic, everyday-type context.” That could change, he said. Passengers on the jet included Vice-Admiral Drew Robertson, then head of the navy; Lt.-Gen. Angus Watt, head of the air force; and Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, head of the army.

Toronto Star

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