Here’s why Jets tight end Jace Amaro ‘can’t catch a cold’

July 31 2014 02:43AM

CORTLAND — The ball hit the ground and the barking began at Jets rookie tight end Jace Amaro. On one side, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson taunted Amaro for letting a...

Jets defense has a field day … on Jets offense

July 30 2014 06:21PM

CORTLAND — The defensive coach in Rex Ryan had to be thrilled with how his unit dominated the Jets’ offense during Wednesday’s practice at SUNY-Cortland. Creating a half dozen turnovers...

Rex approves of Demario Davis’ tough love with Jets defense

July 30 2014 03:36PM

CORTLAND — Jets linebacker Demario Davis sent a message to his teammates in a radio interview Tuesday, and it looks as if  they got the message. Davis was critical of...

Jets rookie Amaro unfazed by rocky start to camp

July 30 2014 02:48PM

New York Jets rookie tight end Jace Amaro is confident he will be able to bounce back from what has so far been a rocky start to training camp.

Classic Rex Ryan trend emerges, for better or worse

July 30 2014 01:07PM

CORTLAND – A familiar theme is beginning to develop at Jets training camp. Like nearly every other Rex Ryan team, the defense is dominating the offense. On Wednesday, the defense...

Demario Davis blasts chatty Jets’ work habits

July 30 2014 09:37AM

Jets linebacker Demario Davis apparently has not been impressed with what he’s seen from his defensive teammates, and thinks the Jets have a long way to go to become the...

Jets agree to terms with forward Halischuk

July 30 2014 09:16AM

The Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms with forward Matt Halischuk on a one-year, two-way contract worth $725,000, the team announced Wednesday.

Halischuk, 26, played 46 games with the Jets last season and had five goals, five assists and six penalt...

Hiring foreign pilots helps bottom line, air force says

July 30 2014 04:00AM

OTTAWA—The Royal Canadian Air Force reaps “significant” savings by hiring foreign military pilots to fly its aircraft, a briefing note says.

Thanks to their past experience flying transport aircraft, fighter jets or helicopters, foreign pilots can quickly take place in the cockpits of Canadian military aircraft.

“They represent significant training cost avoidance and immediately bolster the . . . occupation to which they are enrolled,” reads the note, obtained under access to information legislation.

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The June 24, 2014 note was prepared for Gen. Tom Lawson, chief of defence staff, the day after a Star story detailed how Canada’s air force has been recruiting pilots from foreign countries to train Canadian pilots as well as fly on operational missions around the globe.

Titled “RCAF Foreign Pilot Support,” the note sets out how the air force has used the expertise of foreign pilots to bolster its operations.

At the time, the issue of foreign workers was in the news as the Conservative government brought in reforms to curb abuses as employers hired low-paid, low-skilled workers to fill positions.

However, the note to Lawson says that efforts by the Canadian military to recruit foreign military pilots “have no linkage” to the government’s controversial temporary foreign worker program.

Instead, the note portrays the recruitment of former foreign military pilots as part of a larger effort to bolster pilot training and improve the experience levels within the ranks of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The former foreign military flyers have been tapped to fly many of the aircraft in the RCAF fleet, including Hercules and Globemaster transport planes, CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft and CC-150 Polaris jet, used as a transport and refuelling aircraft.

Using pilots who had previously served with foreign air forces is part of a “structured and deliberate” strategy to help the ranks of Canadian military pilots return to “healthy status” while bridging an experience gap and supporting the RCAF’s training capacity, the note says.

According to an air force spokesperson, the RCAF enrolled 31 former foreign military pilots between 2009 and this spring. During that same time, the RCAF enrolled 501 Canadians to train as pilots as well as welcomed back into uniform another 43 ex-RCAF pilots who had left the military.

Still, the briefing note cautions that the enrolment process for foreign pilots is “lengthy and expensive.” It says that the RCAF works with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to speed the “timely” processing of foreign applicants since they need to be permanent residents before they can fly for the military.

It can take about 12 months to process the applications and the prospective pilots are responsible for all expenses, including the move to Canada, the briefing note says.

Another strategy to bolster the ranks of Canadian military pilots is on the “loan” of experienced pilots from foreign air forces, the briefing note says. In these cases, the pilots are still enrolled with the foreign military, which pays their salaries while the RCAF picks up the incremental costs.

The RCAF has used such pilots to fill “pressing short term needs” such as instructors to help speed the training of Canadian pilots. As well, the “loaned” pilots assist the Canadian Air Force with the introduction of new aircraft into their fleet, such as the C-130J Hercules transport and Chinook helicopter.

The note doesn’t put a tally on how much the hiring of foreign pilots saves the defence department in training. However, the air force has said it can take seven years — and $2.6 million — to train a pilot to fly the CF-18, Canada’s frontline fighter jet.

Unproven Jets secondary will get put to the test right away

July 30 2014 03:05AM

CORTLAND — Jets fans spent the end of March wringing their hands and screaming at their computer screens as free-agent cornerback after free-agent cornerback signed with other teams. It became...

Canadian military seeks air defence system to protect VIPs from missiles

July 29 2014 03:40PM

OTTAWA—The Canadian military is looking for an air defence system to protect its VIP aircraft, including the one used by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, from surface-to-air missiles.

And one of Israel’s top defence contractors, Elbit Systems Ltd., has been working behind the scenes for months to get in on the anticipated project. The downing of Malaysian Airlines jet MH-17 may have given defence officials more urgency.

The program is meant to deliver a system that will “defeat modern, man-portable infrared missiles,” according to the military’s defence acquisition guide.

It’s part of the National Defence acquisition guide and intended for installation on the air force’s remaining C-144 Challengers as well as the existing fleet of C-150 Polaris aircraft, which includes the prime minister’s Airbus.

The timeline for buying such a system was originally set for 2020 and beyond, but a government source says officials are taking a closer look at it in light of the tragedy over eastern Ukraine and last week’s suspension of flights into Tel Aviv following Hamas rocket attacks near Ben Gurion International Airport.

Three commercial Israeli carriers — El Al Israel Airlines, Arkia Israeli Airlines and Israir Airlines — are all installing an Elbit system known as C-Music, which has a Hebrew name that translates to “Sky Shield.”

Recently, a senior Elbit official — speaking only on background because of the sensitivity of discussions — said they’ve been working through the newly established defence co-operation channels with Canada and hope to sell the advanced device to the air force.

The system — a pod that is bolted to the underside of the aircraft — detects incoming missiles with a thermal camera.

When the missile gets close enough, the system fires a laser which deflects the missile off of its trajectory and allows it to explode a safe distance away.

The Israeli Defense Ministry, in a written statement earlier this year, described C-Music as “the most advanced system of its kind in the world,” something that “will provide ultimate defence to planes.”

It is designed for both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

Both the Brazilian and Italian air forces have ordered it and Israel’s transportation ministry said earlier this year that the devices would be installed on all of the country’s airliners.

The missile that brought down the MH-17 over insurgent-dominated eastern Ukraine was believed to be a sophisticated radar-guided system mounted on an armoured vehicle.

C-Music would not be effective against the kind of military threat posed by the Buk system, which is believed to have been supplied to rebels by Russia.

Defence experts have been sounding the alarm for the last couple of years about the proliferation of shoulder-fired weapons, some of which were looted from Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s arsenal during the Arab Spring uprisings.

The Israelis, however, have been concerned about the possible threat to their jets for over a decade.

In 2002, terrorists fired shoulder-launched missiles at an Israeli Arkia Airlines passenger plane as it was taking off from Mombasa in Kenya. While the two missiles missed their target, the incident galvanized the political and military establishment to develop some kind of defence.

Israel is the only country to have mandated the technology. Its airlines and the aviation industry as a whole remains skeptical, citing concerns about pilot training and the enormous added cost, which the U.S. government estimated four years ago to be around $43 billion.

Canadian military transports, such as the massive C-17s and C-130J Hercules which routinely fly into unstable regions, are equipped with countermeasure devices.

But the C-150 Polaris, of which there are five, has no defensive suite.

One of the jets is permanently assigned to VIP transport, including the prime minister, the governor general and the Royal Family when they are in Canada. The others are tasked as either troop transports or high altitude refuelling stations for CF-18s.

Jets' Pryor sits out, Amaro limited at practice

July 29 2014 02:36PM

New York Jets rookie safety Calvin Pryor sat out practice while he recovers from a concussion, although coach Rex Ryan says the first-round pick is "making strides."

Offense particularly dreadful during ugly Jets practice

July 29 2014 01:55PM

CORTLAND – This one was ugly. The Jets had a day off Monday, and they looked like they were still on it Tuesday. The practice was filled with penalties, sluggish...

Rex Ryan explains why his boasts are back at full throttle

July 29 2014 12:30PM

CORTLAND – Jets coach Rex Ryan said there’s a reason he sounds more confident in his team this season – because he is. “Does it look like I’m a little...

Jets, Frolik agree to 1-year, $3.3 million deal

July 29 2014 12:10PM

The Winnipeg Jets re-signed forward Michael Frolik to a $3.3-million, one-year contract Tuesday.

Jets Agree to Terms with Matt Halischuk

July 29 2014 10:53AM

The Winnipeg Jets today announced they have agreed to terms with forward Matt Halischuk on a one- year, two way contract worth $725,000. Halischuk, 26, played in 46 games with the Winnipeg Jets last season recording 10 points (5G, 5A) and six pen...