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SIFFLEUR FALLS 2002

EDMONTON 2003

Canada's Airborne Brotherhood consists of a number of organizations; the major groups being the following: Canadian Airborne Forces Association (CAFA), Airborne Regiment Association of Canada (ARAC), 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association (1 Can Para), 1st Special Service Force (FSSF), Edmonton Airborne Social Club and Bornewest (Chilliwack).

CAFA is the umbrella organization for all Airborne Associations in Canada. Bornewest encourages all it's members to JOIN THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION. Working in concert with all other organizations and branches throughout the country CAFA is the voice of the Canadian Paratrooper.

To put it in a clearer perspective, the following is an extract from an article written by a former President of the Canadian Airborne Forces Association (CAFA), Brig Gen Ian Douglas (ret'd), in the Winter 2003 issue of the Maroon Beret magazine:

"I believe that it is important at this stage to emphasize that associations have two functions, the most important being to socialize and to remember good times and old comrades. Of almost equal importance is to keep the government, and the powers that be, aware that we will not allow bad or harmful decisions to be made which will effect our soldiers. While "they" might not listen, we will ensure that the public knows the truth. This, I believe, is the real mandate of a "National" organization, which in our case, is CAFA. In this regard at the recent board of directors meeting of CAFA an "Advocacy Board" was initiated. This board, initially to be chaired by myself with three other volunteers, and with the guidance of our Patrons, would decide upon which issues of defense policy, or management we should expend our energy. Will it be the future of a viable airborne force; will it be on the value of parachute training to our young soldier, structure of the forces, equipment needs, after service care etc? Regardless of what aspect of the problem we decide to address, input from different branches and organizations will be essential. Indeed, identification of problems which need addressing will, to a great degree, come from outside the "National" organization.

What do you believe needs addressing? Regardless, the real secret to successful advocacy is synergy, or the increased power of different organizations working together. In other words, CAFA, ARAC, 1 CAN PARA, FSSF, the Edmonton Airborne Social Club and Bornewest speak as one voice and, if that is not loud enough, we go to the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) for support, and they have access to the Minister and the Chief of Defence staff."