Military reserve running 19 per cent under strength as part-timers bail

The bottom appears to have fallen out of the military reserves with the latest government figures showing a shortfall of 5,293 part-time soldiers, sailors and aircrew.

OTTAWA — The bottom appears to have fallen out of the military reserves with the latest government figures showing a shortfall of 5,293 part-time soldiers, sailors and aircrew.

The numbers were released in federal departmental performance reports for the last budget year, which also show the military’s medical branch has 367 unfilled positions — both uniformed and civilian.

A handful of those vacancies are in the mental-health section, which was the subject of an intense recruiting campaign following a string of suicides in late 2013 and early 2014.

The performance report, tabled as Parliament returned this week, also raises the flag about the army’s non-combat vehicles, which have a serviceability rate of just 60 per cent — something National Defence claims does not affect its ability to operate and defend the country.

In one of its final acts in power, the former Harper government last summer issued a tender for logistics trucks — a program a decade in the making that had become a political and fiscal football.

Defence officials blame the drop in reservist numbers to 21,707 on a higher-than-expected departure rate and challenges in meeting recruiting quotas.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Here’s a look at what happened during the first day of the… Continue reading

Calgarian takes gold in women’s speedskating

Brooklyn McDougall competed in long track 1,500-metre speedskating event

Speedskaters pick up Alberta’s first Winter Games medals

Calgary’s Brooklyn McDougall wins gold and Lethbridge’s Kaleb Muller wins silver

Red Deer gymnast hopes to flip his way to a personal best

Zach Blakely is looking forward to the ‘community’ aspect of Games

Youngest Alberta athlete at Red Deer’s Canada Winter Games focuses on the win

Emily Liu, 10, beats much larger table tennis players

VIDEO: Community ‘comes together’ at opening ceremonies

The nation will focus its eyes on Red Deer for the next… Continue reading

South African activists try to protect endangered pangolins

JOHANNESBURG — As World Pangolin Day is marked around the globe, Saturday,… Continue reading

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt, B.C.

Greg and Gerry Latham spent Friday morning scrambling to pack up family… Continue reading

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual assault: British newspaper

LONDON — A British newspaper says police in London are investigating an… Continue reading

Graham: U.S. should be stronger on Canadians detained in China

MUNICH — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday the response by the… Continue reading

Conservative leaders to attend pro-pipeline rally in Saskatchewan

By Stephanie Taylor THE CANADIAN PRESS MOOSOMIN, Sask. — Federal Tory leader… Continue reading

Games athletes making themselves at home at RDC

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Welcome message from the mayor

On behalf of Red Deer city council, the City of Red Deer… Continue reading

Most Read