THE FORUM FOR CANADA’S SECURITY AND DEFENCE COMMUNITY
PRESSURE AIR FORCE TESTED COMMAND
AND CONTROL PLUS: Outsourcing FWSAR? Exercising foresight at Chief Military Personnel
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10 command and control
Framing the future networked concept An interview with LGen André Deschamps
14 Buying new ﬁghters
Lessons from the maritime helicopter project by Aaron Plamondon
16 outsourcing SAr?
An alternative solution for fixed-wing search and rescue by BGen (Ret’d) Gregory Matte
18 exercising foresight
Understanding Chief of Military Personnel’s long game An interview with RAdm Andy Smith
21 Preparing leaders
Changing learning for a new security environment by Dr. J. Craig Stone
22 Deep cuts the knife
Are we heading toward a hollow force? by David Perry
23 operational c2
Transformation of the dot coms by Chris Thatcher
24 Tactical advice
Mentoring Afghan security partners by LCol John Andrews
26 interoperable communications Networking the ANSF as NATO steps down by Giles Peeters
24 WWW.VANGUArDcANADA.coM iT’S iN THe ArcHiVeS Missed an issue? Misplaced an article? You’ll find them all online: interviews with government, military and industry leaders, and articles on the programs and policies of Canada’s security and defence community.
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Dealing with a defence deficit
Osprey still hovering over FWSAR
Will austerity help or hinder security collaboration?
THE FORUM FOR CANADA’S SECURITY AND DEFENCE COMMUNITY
29 eDGe oF TecH
PRESSURE AIR FORCE TESTED COMMAND
AND CONTROL PLUS: Outsourcing FWSAR? Exercising foresight at Chief Military Personnel
Publication Mail Registration Number: 40052410
As the Royal Canadian Air Force develops its future operating concept, it will require a C2 architecture to network all of its platforms.
An investment in security science
30 THe LAST WorD
Back to basics with the F-35 www.vanguardcanada.com
JUNE/JULY 2012 3
e eDiTor’S NOTE EDITOR Chris Thatcher email@example.com coNTriBUTorS Aaron Plamondon Gregory Matte Craig Stone David Perry John Andrews Giles Peeters Bonnie Butlin Daniela Fisher George Macdonald eDiToriAL ADViSorY BoArD LGen (Ret’d) Bill Leach LGen (Ret’d) George Macdonald VAdm (Ret’d) Greg Maddison LGen (Ret’d) Michel Maisonneuve SALeS VICE PRESIDENT PUBLIC SECTOR SALES Terri Pavelic (905) 727-4091 ext. 225 firstname.lastname@example.org NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER Marcello Sukhdeo (905) 727-4091 ext. 224 email@example.com MARKETING DIRECTOR Mary Malofy ArT & ProDUcTioN ART DIRECTOR Elena Pankova SUBScriPTioNS AND ADDreSS cHANGeS CIRCULATION DIRECTOR James Watson firstname.lastname@example.org (705) 812-0611 corPorATe PUBLISHER John R. Jones email@example.com
4 JUNE/JULY 2012
Lasting advice iT WAS oNe oF THoSe JoB NoTiceS that catches your eye: a request by the Canadian International Development Agency for consultancy services to evaluate its Afghanistan program. With 2014 now a fixed date for the international exodus from that war-weary country, perhaps it’s not surprising that many are asking the same questions as CIDA: what have we accomplished? Did we do the right things, did we do them well, and will our efforts endure? In a low key appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence just days after completing his assignment in Afghanistan, MGen Mike Day, the former deputy commander of the NATO Training Mission, said that from a military perspective, the Canadian Forces had more than delivered on the “task that we were assigned.” More important, perhaps, they would be leaving in place a system capable of sustaining much of the headway military advisors have made in the past few years. “While I recognize that many challenges remain, I can tell you that we are on the right path,” he said. The overarching goal of the training mission is to enable Afghans to take the lead, and Day told the senators he saw evidence of that almost every day. To train tomorrow’s Afghan leaders, NATO has created a staff college not dissimilar to the Canadian Forces College that at its senior level has programs attended by Afghan generals and civilians. “It really is a military strategy piece,” Day affirmed. “We have a sergeant majors’ academy that teaches the difference between individual leadership [for] a section level sergeant responsible for eight guys, and for a sergeant major who will advise his commanding officer how to run his battalion of 800 guys. All of those schools are in place.” And the majority of leadership training is now run by Afghans; they will assume total responsibility by 2014. Canadians have learned to deliver that advice and training on Afghan terms, in a manner Day called “Afghan right,” by allowing schools, programs and courses to reﬂect local cultural values. And it’s had success: he described a young special operations trooper who took a regular Afghan commando team and trained them to compete at an international competition in Jordan where they placed higher than many Western teams, including U.S. elements. One hopes such stories reﬂect a lasting perception of Canada, because this training mission bears a significant Canadian footprint. Not only is Canada the second largest contributing country, but because much of the American effort is in back office staff functions, Canada is the largest contributor to on the ground advisors. “I look at the whole military training centre, the fielding centre, the signal school and the three regional military training centres – all run by Canadians,” Day said. “Not only have we had a fundamental affect on Afghans but we have also led this coalition of 37 countries.” Over the next several issue, Vanguard will share the stories of some of those advisors, beginning in this edition with LCol John Andrews, the senior military advisor in Regional Military Training Centre–North.
chris Thatcher, Editor
S SiT REP
LGen (Ret’d) Mike Jeffery
Dealing with a defence deficit shall European Centre for Security Studies, retired American LGen Keith Dayton sees a deteriorating financial situation that recalls the domino theory: if one goes, many others will follow. “Deficits are here to stay,” he said, adding we are not witnessing a transitory phase “with a light at the end of the tunnel. We are in serious, serious financial trouble.” The threat environment, however, shows no signs of abating. Withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, for example, is not going to be as smooth as many might hope, he said. And a booming drug trade, in which Afghanistan plays a key role, mounting refugees from failed states, worsening ethnic divisions in many parts of the world, the pervasiveness of terrorism, illicit trafficking and organized crime could all challenge western militaries. Cyber, the one domain in which governments are investing, remains an illusive target. “We’d love to think we are top of this one, but we are not,” he said. Can you do more with less, the current mantra of so many in government and the military? While pooling and sharing – the NATO concept of smart defence – has growing support, Dayton cautioned that it would be problematic for the U.S. that has “become embittered against free riders who don’t pull their weight in a large alliance.”
LGen (Ret’d) Keith Dayton
“Every time we try to predict the future, it is probably doomed to failure,” MGen Steve Bowes observed at the recent Kingston Conference on International Security. The commander of Land Force Doctrine and Training System was describing events intelligence analysts had failed to foresee. But his words were also a caution to military planners betting the current economic downturn and cuts to defence spending are a short-term blip. LGen (Ret’d) Mike Jeffery, a former commander of the Land Staff who in the mid 1990s lived the “decade of darkness” in which budgets were severely reduced, reinforced the point. Noting that all western nations face worsening economic conditions, he suggested “we are in for a prolonged period, nothing short of 20 years, before we see substantive change.” Defence officials will have to do their part to help governments get “our fiscal house in order,” he said, but it would be naïve for governments to think the military doesn’t matter. The challenge, then, is for defence leaders to manage potentially deep cuts while preserving capability, and that means understanding the bureaucratic and political processes to be able to work well with civilian counterparts in National Defence and across government. From his vantage point in Germany as director of the George C. Mar-
On Ex Le En Fo Joi Tak Me
Canada can build navy ships Despite the plaudits being heaped on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, delays in ship designs and the actual awarding of contracts have raised concerns about Canada’s ability to build naval vessels. Take heart. As three retired admirals who played key roles in the Canadian Patrol Frigate program reminded an audience at the Naval Association of Canada, “we did it before, we can do it again.” VAdm Charles Thomas, RAdm Ed Healey and RAdm Mike Saker helped steer the CPF from its design phase in the mid-1970s to the commissioning of 12 ships in the mid-1990s, a timeframe that Healey noted saw six prime ministers, five changes of government and untold numbers of defence ministers. Though it too faced numerous delays and obstacles, the end result was a Canadian-managed program with 71 percent Canadian content – “no other project, not even the LAVs, comes close,” Saker said. Key to that eventual success was putting the right people in place, all three stressed. Though the trio was addressing an audience of over a hundred, their lessons were especially important to one: Commodore Daniel Sing, director of maritime force development, was taking notes throughout.
6 JUNE/JULY 2012
SAILING ON CUE The Royal Canadian Navy not only marked a change of command for Maritime Forces Pacific in June, with the handover from RAdm Nigel Greenwood to RAdm Bill Truelove, it observed the first sail past of HMCS Victoria. “In my mind Victoria represents our navy: small, powerful, deployable and potent,” Truelove said.
September 5-7, 2012 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Osprey still hovering over FWSAR With each passing year without an RFP, the options for Canada’s fixedwing search and rescue (FWSAR) solution continue to grow. Once dismissed as far too expensive, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey has become a possible contender. Bob Carrese, executive director of business development for the V-22 program, says that while the Osprey is not billed as a SAR aircraft, it has been steadily gaining notoriety in that role in combat operations in Iraq and, most recently, Libya. “We think this is a good candidate for fixed-wing search and rescue,” he said. “We meet all of the essential elements, just as a fixed-wing airplane. But we also bring the option for a SAR team to actually make the rescue.” He pointed out that while SAR technicians can drop to aid a victim, a fixed-wing option can often only hover while a helicopter then makes the rescue. “If you look at the search and rescue mission in its totality, we believe we can provide a better, more efficient service to Canadians by reducing the number of assets required, in most cases reducing the total cost of the mission and the total risk of the mission. In a lot of cases, you can actually stop and make the rescue and get the patient to hospital in a fraction of the time you do now, and you wouldn’t have to use additional assets to do that.” With changes to the Statement of Requirements that would allow bidders to propose some of the SAR aircraft basing, Carrese said the V-22 could cover Canada’s vast geography. “This aircraft will go 1000 nautical miles unrefueled. It has aerial refueling capability, and it can stop anywhere where there is a fuel cash,” often in areas inaccessible to fixedwing aircraft. With the Osprey now into its fourth year of multi-year production, and 160 aircraft now fielded and flying, Carrese said the program has the “opportunity to make the aircraft available to new customers.”
Textron takes TAPV
The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy may be garnering praise for its well managed process to date, but the army’s Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle program deserves a piece of the limelight. In early June, the government awarded Textron Systems Canada two contracts for the TAPV, an acquisition contract of $603.3 million for 500 vehicles, with an option for up to 100 more, and a five-year in-service support contract of $105.4 million, also with additional one-year renewal options. The army is expected to take possession of the first vehicle in July 2014; the last delivery is scheduled for March 2016. Obviously, not all contenders were pleased with the outcome, but they were complementary of the process and the secrecy surrounding the final decision. “We were very impressed,” said Neil Rutter, general manager of Textron Systems Canada, adding that an executive with Textron Marine & Land Systems said he had “never seen such a clear RFP anywhere in the world.” Program managers knew what they wanted and they were “tight 8 JUNE/JULY 2012
lipped” about which way the wind was blowing. Rutter said that while the process provided indicators of how Textron’s 4x4 TAPV was performing, and he suspected the competition was very close on price and capability, he did not know the result until the afternoon before the government’s announcement. “The secrecy was unbelievable.” Speaking just days before the contract was awarded, Jeff Krumrei, regional manager for Oshkosh Defense, said he too was impressed with the secrecy and the process. “They kept their dates, they kept their discipline. The testing that was done in Aberdeen went very well. From a competitor perspective, we appreciated the clarity and the method with which they stuck to their guns. It was demanding, but it was good.” Though the Textron TAPV team, which includes Kongsberg Protech Systems Canada, Rheinmetall Canada and EODC, has a supply base for the vehicle, Rutter said the company would be looking to “broaden” it, both to meet IRB commitments and because of its export potential from Canada to other markets.
Rockwell Collins to network US navy A networking system developed in Ottawa will be ubiquitous across the U.S. navy. Rockwell Collins’ Sub-Net Relay (SNR) was selected by Science Application International Corporation for the entire U.S. navy fleet as part of the PEOC4I Battle Force Tactical Networking program. SNR was developed for the Royal Canadian Navy in 2009 and has subsequently been accepted by Australia, New Zealand, Finland and France. Lee Obst, the company’s managing director for Canada, said the U.S. decision to equip all its ships and submarines would give it “a lot of credibility” as a NATO interoperability standard for other allied naval forces. “The U.S. navy has been playing with it for several years,” he said. “They came to the decision that [SNR] is going to be their operating standard to communicate and exchange data with all their ships ... we expect this to be a big help for us going after other friendly nations.” SNR allows the creation of mobile ad hoc, Internet-Protocol networks for tactical data exchanges, including two-way video conference and collaborative planning, using existing communications systems onboard naval vessels. The technology was first developed by Dr. Gerard Nourry, Rockwell’s regional sales manager and the founder of Ottawa tech firm IP Unwired, which was later acquired by Rockwell Collins.
INBrieF LOCKHEED MARTIN and Abbotsford’s CASCADE AEROSPACE signed
an MOU to “jointly pursue mutually beneficial business opportunities,” including promotion of the C-130J Super Hercules for the Canadian fixed-wing search and rescue (FWSAR) program. The agreement is the first such MOU that Lockheed Martin has signed with a Canadian aerospace firm. L-3 MAS (Military Aviation Services) received a one-year contract
for the maintenance of the CF fleet of five CC-150 Polaris (Airbus) aircraft after the previous contractor, Aveos Fleet Performance, shut down on April 30. AURORA ROV SYSTEMS of Nova Scotia will provide the RCN with six underwater remote operated vehicles (ROV) following a contract award worth $1.66 million. Two versions of the ROV were used in Operation Nunalivut 2012 to explore the bottom of the Northwest Passage. RHEINMETALL will deliver the Leopard Gunnery Skills Trainer and
driving simulators under the Canadian Leopard 2 A4 Simulators and Trainers program. The simulators will be delivered to bases in Gagetown, Edmonton, Valcartier and Petawawa.
Montreal-based CAE has renewed its in-service support contract for the CF-18 fleet for one year, and will provide avionics software upgrades, integrated logistics support and data management services. Richmond-based MACDONALD, DETTWILER AND ASSOCIATES signed a contract to provide training support to the British Army that will include tasking of unmanned surveillance aircraft and the use of the information collected. NGRAIN’S Virtual Task Trainer solutions were selected by DND to en-
hance maintenance training and operations for Expedient Route Operating Capability (EROC) vehicles and Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) devices. In May, the U.K. MoD selected a NGRAIN VTR solution for a vehicle program. L-3 WESCAM of Burlington was awarded a three-year contract worth up to $10 million for the repair and overhaul of surveillance sensors on the CF’s fleet of CH-146 Griffon helicopters. The electrooptical and infrared (EO/IR) imaging sensors were installed under the Interoperable Griffon Reconnaissance Escort Surveillance System (INGRESS) project.
A Montreal-developed system used by pro athletes to prepare for elite competition has been adopted U.S. Special Operations Command. NeuroTracker, designed by COGNISENS, helps prepare the brain for fast-paced, confusing situations using eight different gameplay units involving a screen filled with moving orbs.
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JUNE/JULY 2012 9
A Air Force
and control Framing the future networked concept
Since the release of Canadian Forces Aerospace Doctrine in 2010, the Royal Canadian Air Force has been publishing a range of functional doctrinal documents to describe how it moves, shields and sustains its operations, based on the lessons observed in recent missions. Among those is Command, published within six months of the conclusion of the Libyan air campaign, a critical component in the RCAF’s thinking about its future networking architecture. Along with additional operational doctrine, the air force expects to release later this year a capstone document known as Air Force Vectors that will articulate its long-term vision, and a five-year campaign plan that will address resource issues and the steps required to achieve that vision. Combined, the documents lay a framework of guiding principles for future air force capability. Lieutenant-General André Deschamps, Chief of the Air Force Staff (left), spoke with editor Chris Thatcher about doctrine, the lessons learned process and some of the drivers behind future operating concepts.
Q The Command doctrine is a direct result of lessons learned in Libya and Afghanistan. Put it into context with the wider changes taking place in air force doctrine. Command doctrine is an important one because it incorporates the lessons from command and control (C2) of air power on operations – especially in the joint domain. It answers how we configure ourselves to be effective without too much overhead, how we give joint commanders what they need in air power advice to execute their missions. That has always been a difficult problem to crack because no mission is ever the same as the last one, and there is always a robust debate around how we should configure air power to deliver effects with whomever we are partnered. Over the last two years, but especially in 10 JUNE/JULY 2012
Libya, we have had a chance to test drive the 2010 aerospace doctrine, and in there are the big lessons learned about different C2 models. We have pressure-tested C2 in various domains – humanitarian, combat, domestic security – and tried different constructs of command elements to support joint operations. We now have a couple of models that I am confident will be serviceable for the future.
Q Are there specific outcomes as a result of this testing? One direct result of lessons learned is the expeditionary air wing in Bagotville that will be formed this summer. Although it has been in the works since 2008, how we plan deploying has changed significantly. Even recently in Libya, we saw the need to embed more robust C2 elements inside
the air expeditionary wing to be able to do the activities we did – plug into a complex coalition with what we had in hand, link back to Canada through our Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Winnipeg, and through the joint element in Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) in Ottawa. We learned that you have to have the right bits to make it all connect at the right time. And you have to have the right skill sets. The people you deploy need to be able to quickly operate in that complex environment. So with the air expeditionary wing, we are putting into the box the flexibility to adjust to any given environment. If there is not robust infrastructure or communications architecture, we will bring kit to enable us to connect so we can operate quickly. We rely on our people to be innovative and find solutions, but it would be nice to give them a stronger starting point when they get on the ground. The air wing is the accumulation of knowledge from operations over the last decade. More important, we are embedding the doctrinal C2 lessons, and as the operational commanders such as CEFCOM and Canada Command evolve their C2 architecture, we’ll be able to plug into that.
Air Force A
Q Are you designing and buying this architecture jointly? There is an agreement on communications standards. That is a centrally CF-driven process. We do try to acquire common kit where it is applicable, but if it is air-specific, we buy what is portable and works for us, and works with other air powers. But we know we have to be able to execute under a common CF command architecture – we can’t have separate networks that can’t talk to each other. That is probably the biggest change in the last two years. There is a big C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) initiative, which is the Holy Grail, but there is still a lot of work to be done so that every CF element can plug seamlessly into that network on operations. It is tied back to CF Transformation, which is building the CF architecture for command and control.
Our standards and procedures tended to be functionally aligned but not jointly aligned. So our fighter force worked well within the NOARD construct and with NATO partners; it even worked well in support of Land forces. But it did not necessarily work well with our own helicopters because they didn’t have a natural affinity to work together. So over the last several years – and Afghanistan was certainly a forcing function – we had to break those so-called cylinders of excellence because we had to operate seamlessly as an air force inside a theatre of operations without having duplication of effort. That demonstrated that we needed to do a lot more team building across those cylinders. We’re not quite there yet; there are some technological limitations. Our maritime patrol aircraft work well with the navy because their datalinks, their architecture is built to do that. But as we found out in Libya, the CP-140s were not necessarily able to share the same picture with the CF-18s. They saw things through their sensors, they could talk, the information would be networked, but it was networked in the more traditional fashion rather than easily accessible shared situational awareness. That is the next step. In Libya we worked with what we had. But we’d like to move beyond tactical workarounds because they limit how far and how fast you can push information. We need to move it up to the operational level, so we can share that information with another platform in the same airspace, with a ship or with headquarters in Naples so everybody has the same picture at the same time. The platforms are important but if you don’t have the right network in the middle you will have less efficient platforms. We need the capacity to process, push or display information in a way that we need it. We all know those challenges but Libya has certainly reinforced them. The CF is also driving at this because we all – air, land, sea and special forces – see the same need. It would also reduce duplication of effort and eventually become a resource multiplier.
Q Were there other lessons?
Q Is the Joint Force Air Component Command still key to that network?
My own air force needs to connect itself. In ‘60s through the ‘80s, we were built around NATO and NORAD constructs.
The commander of the Combined Air Operations Centre in Winnipeg has multiple hats: he is commander of 1 Canadian
Air Division and his job is to generate an operational air force; and he’s the Joint Force Air Component commander. When there is an operation requiring air support, the operational commander will turn to him for air support planning. In the past, people typically requested what they knew. Doctrine now says, don’t tell us the platform, tell us what effect do you need us to generate and we will generate the solution. Don’t be so concerned about what platform shows up to do the job; we have a lot more multi-role capable platforms. That is a fairly significant change. When we do exercises with the army or navy, we put that same doctrine to work so they get used to it. So they now know, no matter where they are in the world, the CAOC are the guys to call to deliver a solution.
Q If network operations are the bedrock of your future operating concept, how are you addressing the challenge of information analysis? Do you have the people? That is the 64 million dollar question. The answer right now is no. We need to figure out how to differentiate between intelligence and information management. They are not necessarily the same thing. Intelligence is a “so what” activity, seeing something and linking that to an outcome. Fusion is gathering information and putting it in packages for those who need to make decisions on effects. Right now we tend to blur intelligence – it’s all treated as intelligence. The problem is that we don’t have enough intelligence operators. That’s a refined skill set. We have to gain a more sophisticated view of how to do that process, and that requires either more people or technology. In the air force, as we gain more powerful sensors, there needs to be a certain degree of fusion before information goes into that joint environment. The CAOC is the central point for that, but that can become people-intensive and we can’t really afford that. Our goal is to create the network architecture that allows us to centralize this function so that we can concentrate these skill sets. We are tracking toward that model. We’re not there yet because the infrastructure, all the things that allow you to pull information www.vanguardcanada.com
JUNE/JULY 2012 11
A Air Force to one central node, is not quite there. There’s an expense to that as well. It goes back to C4ISR: we’re working to build at least the air force connectivity so that we can manage our assets in centralized fusion. We may not be able to do it with all of the older platforms, but we will as we introduce new systems.
Q In recent presentations, you’ve noted the challenge of cyber and knowledge management. Do you require new skill sets? We don’t have a trade called fusion tech. We also don’t have a trade called cyber and cyber is another domain that we are still at the early stages of developing a force structure that would be useful in that domain. Cyber is a joint issue for the CF but there is a large air force element. We are very dependent on networks and we’re vulnerable if we don’t have a good understanding of how cyber could affect our capability. It will probably mean evolving some of our trade structures to specialize people in those domains.
Q Given the cross-service requirements, is there more emphasis on developing doctrine jointly? The main purpose of the Chief of Force Development is joint doctrine. They have been working on the joint doctrine piece, the right command and control architecture and common standards, both for training and equipment. That process has always been there but it is getting more robust because, as we get more into space-based issues, complexity is evolving. The joint domain is going to become more prevalent in our procurement. Anything we buy has to go through a joint procurement board where it is assessed against interoperability, CF joint standards, and joint doctrine.
Q You’ve expressed concern about the lessons learned process. How is it changing? The aerospace warfare centre was created in 2005-06 to bring a long-term institutional perspective. The challenge has always been to create the skill set at the tactical and operational levels so that people actually understand what they are supposed to do 12 JUNE/JULY 2012
Experimentation is a big part of our process to institutionalize lessons learned ... and that drives procurement. in the lessons learned process. The warfare centre has done a great job of building a structure, and I think we have found a way of teaching lessons learned that doesn’t become overbearing to the tactical level. We now teach courses to help get into a lessons learned mindset rather than, here’s the manual, go ahead and do it. That is where we failed in the past. But we also have to validate if a lesson is in fact a better way of doing something. So we have a more robust experimentation cycle now that allows us to test out concepts in advance of. The warfare centre has allowed us to do more experimentation, often connected with the Canadian Forces Warfare Centre, through advanced software. As that progresses, we’ll be able to simulate all key elements in a joint environment where we can all get online at the same time and practice what we say we are going to do. Experimentation is a big part of our process to institutionalize lessons learned, which feeds back to doctrine – if they identify the right tool, it gets put into the tool box, and taught at our schools. And that drives procurement. When we do operational requirements, it is based on reality and doctrine: here’s what we need to do, this is typically how we’d do the job, do we have the tools? If we don’t and we can’t modify what we have, then it becomes a procurement initiative.
Q Speaking of procurement and networking, how close are you to a decision on JUSTAS? You have been experimenting with UAVs for a number of years now. We’re in the options analysis phase. We’re approaching the point where we can go to government and seek approval to start
spending some money on definition and then implementation. Actually, it’s been good to build a bit of experience with UAVs; a few years ago we would have been very challenged because technology hadn’t quite caught up. Sometimes the longer you wait the better off you are because technology actually moves so fast that you get a different option. The downside is that the longer you wait, inflation keeps eating away at your money. There is a fine balance between waiting for the perfect solution and going with what you know is going to be sufficient to meet your needs. I think we are in that window now where we feel there is sufficient technology to meet all our needs.
Q There has been recent talk about a pilot shortage. How significant is that? We’re getting people in the door, our challenge is to train them and get them operationally effective. That is where we have had some lag. There has been good progress on some of our trade training in Borden, especially our technician trades, using technology to shorten the time it takes to develop a certified aircraft mechanic, for instance. It used to be about four years; we’ve got it down to around two and a half. On the pilot side we’ve had technical problems that have caused certain fleets to stop flying for a while until we fixed it. We haven’t solved all the problems but we’ve got most of our training fleets squared away. We’re still working on some issues with our CT-155 Hawk jet trainer, which is challenging some of our throughput. We expect to solve that but in the meantime I can’t produce as many pilots as I would like to make sure we keep up to demand. There has always been a shortage of 200300 pilots in the institution because our pilots are part of the officer corps and they have to man positions in staff, and a lot of those are pilot-based occupation skills. So we have to train them, develop them and put them into staff jobs. So when we say we have a pressure of 300 short pilots, our cockpits are actually full; we are short in the institutions because we can’t generate enough folks through the pilot process to fill all the places we’re supposed to. We’re probably a few years away from stabilizing that, but we’re on the right path.
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A Air Force Dr. Aaron Plamondon
is a Research Fellow with the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and the author of The Politics of Procurement: Military Acquisition in Canada and the Sea King Helicopter.
Ignoring the lessons of the maritime helicopter project
he most recent development on the weakness of the proposed F-35 acquisition has revolved around the latest Auditor General’s report. Although it is significant that the author, Michael Ferguson, found that the Conservative government excluded $10 billion in costs that he felt should have been included in the stated price of the procurement, such as operating and personnel values, this is not the primary weakness of the program. In fact, the recent criticism by the Auditor General was effectively brushed aside as a simple difference in opinion on what costs should be included in the final total. The deputy minister of National Defence, Robert Fonberg, insisted that presenting the acquisition and sustainment costs alone was in keeping with historical practice. Although the report resulted in a shift in the procurement process and the creation of a new oversight secretariat within Public Works and Government Services Canada, this has not repaired the damage already done. On 16 July 2010, the government announced its commitment to procure 65 F-35s and claimed that the program would cost approximately $16 billion; this would include maintenance for a period of 20 years. The government quickly adopted a stance of cost certainty and aggressively defended its estimate against constant challenges by the opposition parties during the election campaign of 2011. The primary challenges were that the government failed to properly justify a sole-sourced procurement and underestimated the acquisition costs of a developmental platform. The original representation of the cost to replace Canada’s CF-18s was voiced in the context of a firm agreement to spend approximately US$75 million per plane. Notwithstanding discussions on what costs would be added to the total later, even the baseline was consid14 JUNE/JULY 2012
ered by professional observers to be vastly under target. Mike Sullivan, the director of acquisition management at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, explained that he was unsure of how the Canadian government’s estimate could have been reached and estimated the cost to be “somewhere between $110-115 million.” One of the most damaging tests to the Conservative credibility on the issue was the March 2011 report led by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, who also asserted that the government’s estimate of $16 billion for the full program was extremely unlikely. The primary reason that there is such a debate on the potential contract value for this procurement is that the F-35 was (and still is) in development; this makes determining final costs with any degree of certainty exceedingly difficult. What we do know is that the F-35 is already five years behind schedule and total development overruns are projected to exceed US$21 billion – sixty percent above the original estimate. But this reality should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the purchase of high technology defence equipment; prices usually rise until the final model has completed testing and qualification. Canadian history is replete with examples of developmental aircraft being over budget and unable to meet estimated schedules. The Avro Arrow is the most famous, of course, but the Canadian taxpayer has recently been given a far more egregious example. The worst case study of inflated procurement costs and late delivery, due largely to developmental delays, is the Maritime Helicopter Project (MHP) and the purchase of the Sikorsky Cyclone.
Air Force A
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LE D C in Coll ab oratio n Wi th CAD SI b ri ng s you TH E B E ST DE FE NCE - A CON F EREN CE L O N D O N , O N TA R I O , C A N A D A The MHP mirrors some of the production problems currently being experienced by the F-35. Although the process to replace the Sea King was started (for a third time) in 2000 and a contract was signed in 2004, the Canadian media discovered in January 2008 Sikorsky would not be able to deliver the first new Cyclone until 2010 or 2011 as it was not yet certified. As of June 2012, Canada has yet to receive the new helicopters. The efforts to replace the Sea King have taken over 30 years and counting and have cost Canada hundreds of millions of dollars and hampered our military capability. Although there is still no formal contract for the F-35, both cases reveal how the choice of an incomplete military design has been highly problematic from a political, financial and a military perspective. Canadian leaders have yet to learn the risks involved in purchasing a first run platform and optimism always rules the day. Caution and the presentation of more conservative figures would have been more prudent as soon as it became obvious that the cost per aircraft was no longer valid. It is easily argued that the MHP was a politically led procurement with a predetermined winner – or rather a loser, the Cormorant – from the beginning. But at least there was an attempt to show the public that they tried to get the best option, even if in the end they did not. The lack of an open competition with a formal request for proposals based on a clear set of operational military requirements is, of course, related to the public challenges on cost. Competitive pricing is often removed in sole-source purchases and it makes the public skeptical on whether they are getting the best deal for their tax dollars; this is especially true if it is the most expensive procurement in Canadian history. If the other options are unacceptable, the government needs to provide some degree of proof. The F-35 could be the best value for Canadians, but this has yet to be demonstrated to the public. The Conservative government mistakenly underestimated the potential for the escalation of costs on an incomplete design, drew a firm line in the sand, and eschewed any possibility of error in the calculation. A considerably higher price tag than the initial estimates should not only have been considered possible, but altogether likely. The procurement of the F-35 has unfortunately become the latest example of the politics of procurement in Canada. The program has become an easy target due to the government’s exclusion of a domestic competition and the provision of overly optimistic cost estimates. While this is one of the few times where the procurement process was begun early enough to properly phase out the existing military platform, the perception that there was a lack of due diligence on a major capital expenditure has created a general lack of public trust in the procurement process.
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A Air Force BGen (ret’d) Gregory Matte
served for over 29 years in the Canadian Forces as a pilot, and was responsible for the FWSAR project while he was Director Air Requirements.
THE FWSAR SOLUTION?
The Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) project was first announced with some fanfare and priority by Prime Minister Paul Martin and Minister of National Defence David Pratt at CFB Gagetown in April 2004.
owever, with the seemingly endless delays – the most recent being the decision to defer issuing a request for proposal (RFP) for several more months – perhaps it’s time to seriously consider outsourcing this important service to the private sector as a viable solution to the impasse. Understandably, some may find outsourcing to be unacceptable. After all, the original mandate for air search and rescue (SAR) was assigned to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) back in 1947, and there will be concerns that the private sector will be unable to match the performance, professionalism and downright bravery that the SAR crews of the RCAF have repeatedly demonstrated over the past 65 years. However, if a solution were created that ensured the RCAF maintained authority over the performance and safety standards of the service, or even continued to provide some of the trained
16 JUNE/JULY 2012
rescue personnel such as the highly esteemed and truly remarkable cadre of SAR technicians, then such concerns might be mitigated, if not eliminated. First, the private sector would not be constrained on where it bases FWSAR units – a conundrum that not only resulted in the controversial 273 knot minimum speed criteria in the previous Statement of Requirements (SOR), but also curtailed an opportunity to establish a greater RCAF footprint in Canada’s North. These constraints were based on keeping project costs within budget, and meant that the new FWSAR would continue to be based out of existing RCAF Wings (Comox, Winnipeg, Trenton and Greenwood). Second, although the decision to seek an external review of the existing SOR by the National Research Council in 2009, following consultations with the aerospace industry, resulted in some valuable
Air Force A recommendations and innovative solutions that ultimately led to changes to the mandatory requirements – in turn broadening the field of potential contenders and alleviating concerns about the competitiveness of the process – the project has yet to enter the bidding phase, and the tired fleet of CC-115 Buffalo aircraft are becoming more costly and inefficient to maintain. They are due for retirement in 2015 despite the upgrades undertaken in 2008 to extend their “life” a few more years to address delays. A third challenge that would lead credence to the viability of outsourcing FWSAR is shortfalls in pilot production, exasperated by difficulties in recruiting/retaining pilots, as well as the persistent issues for pilot training. In recent years, the RCAF has turned to the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), among other sources, to attract pilots. Underlying that shortage is the broader challenge of training: both initial up to wings level and qualification “on type” for a given aircraft, as well as recurring training and upgrades on a given fleet. Given the uniqueness of the SAR role and the likelihood of a new fleet of aircraft in the air force inventory (leading contenders include the Airbus CASA C-295 and the Alenia C-27J Spartan), the RCAF would need to create the capacity to both train aircrew on type, as well as to ensure adequate resources for upgrade certifications and recurring qualifications. Finally, since a new fleet would introduce sustainment requirements for both maintenance and logistical support, the RCAF would be faced with a similar problem for technician training, as well as the overhead associated with the supply chain of parts and lifecycle management. While the costs for such in-service support are taken into account for the project, the inefficiencies associated with supporting another, unique fleet would not be insignificant. Additional pressures would be created not only on operations and maintenance (O&M) budgets, but also on the personnel side to ensure an adequate cadre of trained and qualified maintenance and support people. It is for these practical reasons that the RCAF is highly reluctant to consider a dual-fleet solution to the FWSAR project, as has existed for the past many years with the CC-115 and CC-130 fleets. So, is it time to consider outsourcing within the parameters of mandated RCAF performance and safety standards, with the possibility of continuing to provide uniformed SAR technicians? Not only would this allow for a relatively unconstrained basing solution, including in the North, it would also be an elegant solution to the dual conundrums of achieving a competitive environment for an RFP as well as overcoming the persistent misperception that the SOR had been purposefully “rigged” to favour one potential platform over another. It would also open up the possibility for more than one new platform from the aerospace industry and lead to direct employment opportunities within the Canadian economy, as well as an infusion of secondary and tertiary eco-
nomic stimulus into those areas selected for basing. For the RCAF, it would alleviate the challenge of supporting the demands of yet another unique fleet and mission while still meeting the requirements of the 1947 mandate through appropriate control measures. Would the Canadian public accept such a solution? Arguably, despite the excellent service that the RCAF has provided for SAR over the past decades, there is a festering degree of growing dissatisfaction that may be attributed to the current basing constraints as well as the limitations of aircraft availability. The recent and tragic death of young Burton Winters off the coast of Labrador back in January served as a poignant reminder both of the growing intolerance with the current level of responsiveness and the importance that Canadians assign to this vital service – the old RCAF saying that “speed is life” rings so true, particularly in rescue incidents involving victims with injuries and/or facing exposure. Finally, with the increase in activity in Canada’s North, from greater interest in natural resources exploration, a greater volume of trans-polar commercial air travel, and significant maritime activity in our Arctic waters, an outsourcing solution to the FWSAR project might provide an additional benefit of furthering Canada’s economic and sovereign interests north of 60.
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M Military Personnel
Understanding the long game With business lines that stretch from recruitment to retirement and cut across career management, health services, compensation and beneﬁts, personnel support and even the Canadian defence Academy, Chief of military Personnel (CmP) is a complex system of systems that could be signiﬁcantly disrupted by unforeseen events.
to better understand issues that might affect the organization and the Canadian Forces, rear-admiral andy smith, Chief of military Personnel, has begun conducting foresight exercises. drawing on the expertise of a small force development cell that, in turn, has drawn from organizations like Chief of Force development and Policy horizons Canada, smith has challenged his leaders to consider the impact of everything from societal changes to advances in the digital environment. he spoke with editor Chris thatcher.
Q What are you hoping to understand through foresight exercises? I’m trying to understand what the implications are as society changes, as demographics change, as Canadian values change. We pride ourselves on being a learning institution, so from a personnel perspective I want to ensure we are agile, resilient, tolerant of uncertainty, and that we are relevant, in tune with some of those “unkowns” that might come about. When I joined 33 years ago, the mindset was that if you joined an organization, that was your chosen career path. Who would have thought that you’d have a generation accepting of having three or four careers throughout their working life, and not be afraid of real paradigm shifts in those careers? That has been a real shift for us when we look at things like terms of service. Foresight in private industry tends to focus on technology because that is driving the bottom line; we are more interested in the social or cultural aspects of foresight, which are far less “predictable” and far more difficult to assess. And I say that as an engineer who is working in the personnel domain. Going through these exercises to look at our various business lines has been very helpful in generating better comprehensive situational awareness. Good 18 JUne/JUlY 2012
foresight gives you a range of plausible alternatives such that you avoid narrow predictions. It is really trying to come to grips with “what if?” and allows you to look at potential shocks and ask, are we ready for them?
Q Is this relatively new for CMP? Personally, this is very new. The initial use of foresight in CMP probably goes back 10 or so years under LGen Couture, but my sense is that it has ebbed and flowed over time. It’s probably only been in the past two years that we have put some issues on the table for which we don’t have answers but need to become more aware of inputs that we might not have thought about.
Q What were some of your ﬁndings? We’ve developed a number of influence diagrams that illustrate this. For example, with respect to possible societal or demographic changes, there is an undeniable youth bulge in non-developing and developing nations, and a birth rate in Canada that is below the sustainability level. Does that youth bulge serve at some point to influence the government’s refugee or immigration policy? If it
Military Personnel M did, you might think it would bode well for the Canadian Forces – we could potentially have three streams from which to recruit: the traditional stream in Canada, a developing nation cohort and a non-developing nation cohort. That sounds good until you look at the stats. A lot of those people from developing and non-developing countries have a very different view of the military; it is often oppressive and not seen as an institution that upholds their values, so their initial propensity is not to enrol. If that is the case, we need to understand why and address it, because ideally the CF should be representative of society at large. Many of these communities are elder-centric, so if you were to create a strategy, the emphasis might not be on the folks you are trying to recruit but rather on the leaders in the community to convince them the CF is an institution that is worthy of their sons and daughters. If they give the ok, then we might be seen as an institution of choice. Nanotechnology is a really interesting one. Nanotechnology has driven a number of the biomedical advances in the last 10 years. And as a result of the biomedical technology, we have seen increases in longevity and enhancements in human performance. If you add those to economic conditions that cause people to work longer, what do those mean for our compulsory retirement age? For our military health care system costs? For family programs and policies? And for our fitness standards? Staying with care, we have seen in the last 15-20 years a rise in non-traditional family structures. Kids are staying at home longer and children are increasingly building nanny suites to look after parents. That is certainly reflected in the CF population. What does that mean for career management, mobility requirements that are inherent in military service? For health care compensation? For how we support families? These influence diagrams allow us to focus on the “so what” as we consider some of the drivers out there.
Q Were there any surprises? I don’t know if there were surprises, but at the end there were certainly people saying, “oh, I hadn’t thought of that.” For example,
when we looked at nanotechnology and how it might affect some of our fitness standards, we found that things that might have originated in a health business line all of a sudden affected some of the larger personnel policy realms. Foresight allows us to see some of the complex interactions between trends. Diversity is one that is not just a recruiting issue. It could be a government-wide issue if immigration were to change significantly. And on that one, there are some implications for the CF chaplaincy. Traditionally, it has been Protestant and Catholic, although we do have rabbis and imams in small numbers. But looking ahead, if we were to successfully recruit from more ethnic communities, are we positioned to greet people of all faiths? That could also apply to the aboriginal community, which is the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population. We have some great outreach and training programs for aboriginal youth, but we might need to make greater inroads with the elders in those communities.
Q Do the exercises point to speciﬁc enablers that need to be introduced sooner rather than later to meet those challenges? I don’t know if we’re there yet. I have a wonderful team of social science researchers that is plugged into the foresight thinking. If we need to better understand the changing nature of demographics and diversity, for example, we have an ability to conduct research to gauge whether our thoughts are right so that we can start to shape some of our policies or our recruiting strategies, or religious support, or personnel support.
Q You touched on the paradigm shifts millennials are willing to accept. Have you begun to think how you might enable greater movement? Folks are trying to put in place some of the enablers that would allow greater flexibility, perhaps between a regular and reserve career path. We have always had the ability to change trades, but I
inﬂuence diagram: the digital environment
Increasing Digitization of Canadian Society
Increasing Importance of Information & Communication Technology to Daily Life
Increasing Digitization of Canadian Educational System
Increasing Importance of Digital Competence
Increasing Importance of Digital Competence to Defence Employment
Impact Across most CF Functions Culture of Sharing Information & Knowledge Collaboration
Rate of Change of Technology
JUne/JUlY 2012 19
M Military Personnel Q How are those changes affecting professional development?
think there is an acceptance now that it is not just one man, one job forever. And that is consistent with the overall institutional shift towards “jointness.”
The Canadian Defence Academy has a lot of work ongoing in terms of what does the learner of the future look like, and how do people learn. They don’t subscribe as much to the professorteacher model, they are happy to learn online. We have a trial underway at CFB Borden called the three-tier trial which is much more of a technology-enabled, group learning – almost an Oxford tutorial style of learning from each other with some general guidance from the instructor.
Q Do demographic shifts change in anyway how you foster
THE FORUM FOR SECURITY AND DEFENCE COMMUNITY the Forces’ warrior spirit? DoesCANADA’S a different cohort cause you to rethink how you view it?
It’s a good question. We certainly have transformed the recruit school, which is that transformational three-month period where we take the citizen and turn them into a warrior. We have done a lot to enable people’s success, as opposed to: here’s the standard, Q What influence does this information have on near-term you have to meet it. There is much more mentoring to help fachanges like CF Transformation? How will you use it? cilitate success. We are certainly seeing a change in the cohort. When I joined In terms of what this means for our business, we did a strategic the average age was probably 18 or 19. Now its 24-25 and these planning session about a month ago. Much of this tends to be for are people withpremier life experiences, with education, even with famiHorizonfor 2 orthe 3 considerations, so I’m is notthere sure we have a firm Canada’s defence and security magazine past 16 years lies. We recently enrolled someone as old as 56, which would have grasp of how this links into the larger transformational piece of with timely articles and insightful coverage of issues and events. Technology and been unthinkable. People are coming in saying I want to join, the CF; at the moment, it tends to be relatively CMP-centric. national issuesI’m are anandimportant focus in the magazine suited today’s but I’m a freesecurity thinking individual, adult we’re meant to However, we’re fortunate in the militaryfor personnel system in that be adults here. We’re those shifts in society while still we have the ability to change policy, and this allows us to start fast-paced andrespecting tech oriented society. making sure we get the product that we need, and the transformadown that road of making evidence-based policy decisions and be tion that has occurred in the recruit school is a reflection of that. more agile in the face of change. I’m very comfortable with what we do to imbue the warrior spirit. I give my force development cell, Jim Uchiyama, Tracey Wait and Jason Dunn, a lot of credit. They often toil in anonymity because this is not the burning fire of today, but what their work has Q Is your leader different under these circumstances? enabled me to do is better understand the importance of looking down range and considering plausible scenarios and outcomes. That’s key. You have to have a transformational change in the inCertainly in a resource-constrained environment the tendency is structors as well. There is now work up front to make sure the to focus on getting from here to the next quarter. That’s iminstructors are comfortable with this approach. The challenge is as portant but you can’t lose sight of the long game. To help my much on the instructional cadre as it is on implementation, because organization come to grips with the long game, I put an awful lot the folks coming in the door today are comfortable with multi-taskof value in that. ing, group environment learning, and learning at different rates.
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Professional development P Dr. J.Craig Stone is the Director of Academics for the Canadian Forces College.
Preparing tomorrow’s leaders
uring the past decade the Canadian Forces (CF) have conducted combat operations in Afghanistan and Libya, provided disaster assistance in Haiti, and assisted government with security for the Olympics, the G8 and G20 Summits. These events however are just the tip of the iceberg in a litany of complex and varied daily activities the CF must manage. As one small part of preparing our leaders for this environment, the CF senior leadership in April 2008 directed the Canadian Forces College to make a number of changes in the delivery of professional military education for mid- and senior-level officers. The College, located in Toronto, provides professional military education to officers from major to brigadier general (and their naval equivalents) and civilian executives from other government departments and industry. The College is also responsible for the CF’s senior non-commissioned member professional development activities conducted in St-Jean, Quebec. Of particular note are changes to two major programs conducted in Toronto, the Joint Command and Staff Program (JCSP) and the National Security Program (NSP). The JCSP is primarily designed for majors and lieutenant colonels and their naval equivalents, but there have also been DND civilians and police officers attending. The stated aim of the JCSP is “to prepare selected senior officers of the Defence Team for command and/or staff appointments in a contemporary operating environment across the continuum of operations in national and international settings.” As its aim implies, JCSP is the bridge between tactical and strategic. While it bleeds into both, it does so only to understand tactical limitations and strategic realities at the operational level. What is new for the JCSP is that it is delivered as both a 10-month full-time residential program and as a two-year parttime distance learning program. Approximately 130 students attend the residential program, 20 to 25 of whom are officers from other nations. The distance learning program has approximately 125 officers in each of the two years. Although officers from other nations also participate, what is unique and new is that both regular and reserve force officers attend. The JCSP is delivered as seven courses. Residential students complete all seven courses in 10 months. Individuals who choose to complete an additional two-credit research project have the opportunity to complete a Master of Defence Studies degree. All courses
delivered as part of the JCSP are graduate courses and the degree is granted by the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) and accredited through the Ontario provincial education system. The second program that is significant for CFC is the National Security Program. The NSP is designed for colonels, naval captains and civilian executives from government and industry. A significantly smaller group of approximately 30 is split almost equally between CF officers, international officers and civilians. Recognizing the challenges associated with the contemporary security environment and the limitations within the existing development program for senior officers, the Armed Forces Council (AFC) direction in 2008 indicated that the aim of the NSP was to “prepare all participants for employment as strategic-level leaders and managers, and military officers as operational-level joint task force commanders and senior staff.” Based on lessons from the first two serials of NSP, the latter part of this aim has been removed and the focus is solely on the strategic responsibilities in a complex and ambiguous security environment. Two key issues differentiate the NSP from its earlier programs. First, the AFC directed that NSP be conducted “along post-graduate study lines” with an optional RMCC Master of Arts degree as part of the package. This mandate necessarily changed the flavour of the NSP. Second, there was a clear requirement to include civilian participation in the program if the issues associated with strategic level national security were to be dealt with properly. Similar to JCSP, the NSP courses are graduate courses and connected to a specific degree at RMCC. The Master’s degree requires an additional economics course and a two-credit research project. The connection of CFC programs to graduate courses within RMCC supports the requirement for senior officers and government executives to think critically, deal with complexity and uncertainty and make reasonable decisions. Studying at CFC has moved from a predominantly lecture based environment to small group seminar work with significantly more time for students to read, write, prepare for class and think seriously about their profession. Much as the security environment has changed, so too has the learning experience at CFC. Both the curriculum content and the learning environment have evolved to meet today’s challenges. For those fortunate to attend CFC, it is an opportunity to study their profession in greater depth and prepare themselves for the challenges they will face in the future.
Joint Command and Staff Program Two Delivery methods - a single programme
DS 541 Leadership and Ethics
DS 542 Command and Management
DS 547 National Security and International Affairs
DS 545 Component Capabilities
DS 543 War and Society
DS 544 Basic Joint Operational Planning
Distance Learning Year 1
DS 546 Advanced Joint Operational Planning
Defence Studies Optional DL 3
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JUNE/JULY 2012 21
D Defence spending David Perry is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Carleton University, a defence analyst with the CDAI, and a member of the Advisory Council for the CDFAI Strategic Studies Working Group.
a hollow force?
here has been much talk in Ottawa about looming defence cutbacks. Massive in scale, it is rumored they will require major force structure changes and result in significantly less capable armed forces. These cuts, it is feared, will leave military forces unable to play the same role in the international sphere that they have to date, and will require substantial strategic recalculation. Unfortunately, most of these discussions have focused on the financial challenges facing the American military. In appearances by senior Canadian officials before Parliamentary committees, for example, the staggering prospect of slashing hundreds of billions of dollars from the Pentagon’s budget have been lamented. In comparison, the common narrative seems to be that scaling back the Canadian military will be achieved by relatively light efficiency reforms and back office reorganizations that will allow DND to do “more with less.” Indeed, we are led to believe that Canada’s cutbacks are being structured in such a way that a loonie’s worth of reduction will not lead to an equivalent loss of output. The reality, however, is that Canada is cutting its military more than the Americans, in proportional terms. The current Pentagon plan calls for a mere one percent nominal reduction in defence spending. Even the much feared prospect of budget sequestration, which takes effect in January 2013 unless Congress acts to avoid it, will see only a one year reduction of 11 percent. Thus, even under the worst case scenario, the American military will effectively only see a return to 2007 spending levels. Afterward, DOD’s baseline budget will rise with inflation. The Canadian Forces, on the other hand, are facing significantly more fiscal pain. The combined impact of the Strategic Review and Deficit Reduction Action Plan will see $2.1 billion removed from DND’s budget line – roughly 11 percent in nominal terms. Even this total, equal to the worst case scenario south of the 22 JUNE/JULY 2012
border, does not reflect the full extent of the challenge at NDHQ. Budget 2010 froze operating budgets and stopped compensating departments for the impact of negotiated wage increases. The net impact to DND is the equivalent of almost another $1 billion in cuts, since the department will need to offset these measures by reallocating funds internally. Thus, the full scope of the cutback is roughly $3 billion, or close to 15 percent of the base budget. Furthermore, the way the cuts are structured, effectively exempting Regular Force military personnel and the capital acquisition program from the reductions, means that the operations and maintenance account will bear the brunt. The result? The CF will retain most of its force structure, although the capital plan will slip significantly. To achieve this, the rest of the defence workforce, civil servants, full-time reservists and contractors will see thousands of positions slashed, and the remaining troops will be kept at a lower level of readiness. At the same time, the dollars that would otherwise maintain and operate new equipment will be scaled back sharply, jeopardizing the military’s ability to operate its fleets, and the delays in planned acquisitions means that procurement budgets will rapidly depreciate. Both of these impacts suggest that the CF may quickly become hollow, as readiness suffers at the expense of retaining a larger force structure than the government seems willing to keep operationally funded. In the midst of all this, the military is also attempting to transform, although the full details of this process have not been publically released. So far, DND has announced that it is redirecting resources to new threat areas, including space and cyber. To realize this change, the department appears to be following the Leslie Report’s recommendations to slim down headquarters. The most publically prominent of these moves so far is combining the operational commands under a single three star force employer, the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC). It, along with the rest of the Level 1 organizations in the National Capital Region, are attempting to downsize 25 percent of their Regular Force members. The newly freed up troops will be used to staff the CF’s emerging priorities – a requirement Leslie estimated to be 3,500 personnel overall. It remains to be seen how much disruptive change the department chooses to take on, i.e., how far will transformation go? With a requirement to cut so much money, the organization will be hard pressed to substantially reorganize at the same time. At present, the next CDS is facing a significant readiness deficit. The questions that remain to be answered are 1) how much of a reorganizational challenge will he face? And 2) have we seen the last of the budget cuts? While we do not yet know the government’s full intent, there are worrying signs that we may well be headed for another decade of darkness.
by Chris thatcher
restructuring operational command and control
s Chief of Transformation in 2005-2006, Walt Natynczyk led the stand up of four new operational commands. As Chief of the Defence Staff, one of his final acts may be to initiate the organizational restructuring of the so-called “dot com” headquarters into a single operational command and control structure. Beginning this fall, the Canadian Forces will consolidate the functions of Canada Command, Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM), and Canadian Operational Support Command (CANOSCOM) into Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), a new headquarters responsible for conducting all domestic and expeditionary operations. The fourth command, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, will continue to function as a separate force generation, employment and support command, reporting directly to the CDS. The CJOC will be commanded by LGen Stu Beare, the current commander of CEFCOM. The current command structure was stood up in February 2006 as part of a transformation exercise that recognized the sizeable operational workload on the Forces’ horizon: a more intensive mission in Afghanistan with the move from Kabul to Kandahar, and the 2010 Olympics. That the structure simultaneously managed Haiti, Libya and numerous domestic incidents is a testament to its success, General Natynczyk recently told Vanguard. However, after they were stood up, he noted that while the commands would become a “one stop shop” for their respective mandates, allowing the CF to progress from ad hoc to planned responses, the new system would need to be monitored and adjusted. According to VAdm Bruce Donaldson, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff who served as commander of Canada Com during the Olympics and G8/G20 summits in 2010, while the operational headquarters were separate, the commanders and their advisory staff were required “to get together fairly regularly to figure out how we were going to do all of this and be successful.” It was then, he said, “it became clear that there were certain areas where, if you combined the advice to commanders, you could actually do it better in some cases, and you could certainly do it with fewer people.” Donaldson said the change would consolidate various advisory, intelligence, financial and administration functions, but would leave intact “the core advice that the deputy commander in charge of domestic or continental operations will need. We have managed to compress this into a staff structure that supports that operational
chain of command, and in doing so reduce by about 25% the number of folks it takes to run force employment in that headquarters.” The changes are based in part on the recommendations of now retired LGen Andrew Leslie, who headed up an internal team in 2010 to explore ways of improving efficiency and effectiveness, and drive organizational change. His report, delivered to the CDS in July 2011, recommended that some of those efficiencies could be found through a reduction in headquarters and staffs by “grouping like functions or accepting risk in the entire elimination of certain organizations.” Specific to the operational commands, he suggested that “a smaller number of personnel working within an efficient organizational model could leverage the many lessons learned since 2005 to build a more effective Force Employment environment.” In fact, though consolidation would sacrifice some of the brand identity of each command, his team believed integration “could offer enhanced organizational flexibility and agility, enabling more seamless and integrated oversight of all operations without the barriers created by a domestic/international division.” LGen Beare agrees. In a recent interview, he said the restructuring would not take away from the strengths the commands have established in support of operations. “Not only is it going to preserve this, it will ideally allow [it] to become more coherent.” He said the integration would eliminate “three ways of [doing] command and control, intelligence, ISR, and sustainment.” Rather, it would ensure an operational level C2 framework, intelligence architecture, ISR capability and sustainment approach that would be complementary to the tactical C2, intel, ISR and sustainment package that is sent “down range.” As commander of CEFCOM, Beare has been championing a concept of “preparedness” for international events through greater understanding and engagement. The convergence of commands would “afford the idea of preparedness [to] become baseline.” he explained. “It is there now on the domestic side.” To that end, he will oversee the creation of operational support hubs – bases and wings in Canada, partnerships internationally – that can be established or activated as required. “CANOSCOM has done a brilliant job of planning the operational support hubs globally. They are looking at positioning them in those geographic regions which best represent the possibility of CF engagement, operations, crisis or humanitarian disaster response.” Gen Natynczyk once noted that “transformation is evolutionary.” Many will be watching to see what this next phase brings. www.vanguardcanada.com
JUne/JUlY 2012 23
t traininG lieutenant-Colonel John andrews is
the senior military advisor of rmtC-n and commanding officer of the Canadian contingent at Camp spann in northern Afghanistan.
tactical advice Mentoring an Afghan partner
new Canadian team of advisors and support staff are settling down to business as part of the first rotation (ROTO 1) of Operation Attention. Building upon the strengths and accomplishments of Canada’s past efforts in Afghanistan, they are contributing to the goal of preparing Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to assume full responsibility for the security of their nation. Canada plays a key role in the NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan (NTM-A) and is partnered with 36 other troop-contributing nations who share the goal of enabling accountable, Afghan-led security by the end of 2014. The Canadian team assumed formal command of the advisory and training mission at Camp Shaheen in Balkh province of Northern Afghanistan in early March. Located immediately southwest of Mazar-e-Sharif, the Afghan National Army (ANA) training camp is home to approximately 6,000 ANA soldiers and a team of some 70 Canadian, U.S. and German military personnel along with a handful of civilian contractors. The team is tasked with advising members of the ANA at the Regional Military Training Centre–North (RMTC-N) and the Regional Military Hospital-N (RMH-N). Though RMTC-N and RMH-N are located on Camp Shaheen, Canadians operate from a smaller coalition camp within the Afghan facility known as Camp Mike Spann, named after Johnny “Mike” Spann, a member of the CIA’s paramilitary Special Activities Division who was killed during an uprising by Taliban prison-
ers in 2001 at the Qala-i-Jangi fortress just north of the camp. Spann was the first U.S. combat fatality in the war on terrorism. Established in 2008, RMTC is a bustling place, with approximately 2,000 students training on any given day. The RMTC conducts the Regional Basic Warrior Training (RBWT) course and a host of specialty courses such as literacy, driving, combat medic and instructional courses, all to ensure continued professionalization of the ANA. The RMTC also conducts two Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) courses: the Team Leader Course, a basic NCO course, and the Infantry NCO Battle Course, a mid-level NCO course. At RMH-N, the 100-bed hospital serves all ANSF members and their families in northern Afghanistan. Canadian medical staff are integrated with American advisors to form the Medical Training Advisory Group (MTAG) and touch every section of the hospital, from a U.S. colonel health care administrator paired with the brigadier-general hospital commander, to our doctors, nurses, dentists and technicians embedded with frontline patient care and support. Thirty years of war have taken their toll on Afghanistan’s healthcare system; basics we take for granted are still challenges here, like stable drug and equipment supplies and certified, registered professional training. While the desire to care and cure may be a universal calling among medical professionals, answering that call takes a different approach here. Sustainability is key – the injuries might be the same as back home, but “Afghan right” solutions sometimes mean thinking out of the North American box: building wooden operating room equipment in the carpentry shop; learning to diagnose without lab tests; creating patient records on paper, the blackout-proof and reliable old-fashioned way. As MTAG staff work together to accomplish common goals, they offer the most important advice of all: teamwork is key to achieving an effective, sustainable system. With so much work required in every department, it can be hard to make headway. But by working as a team, MTAG is able to model the kind of creativity and cooperation that is essential to delivering effective and sustainable medical care as Afghanistan continues to rebuild.
Cultural adjustment ANA basic warrior training candidates participate in an “Oath Ceremony.” 24 JUne/JUlY 2012
This is my third tour in Afghanistan and my second as a tactical level advisor. During my first tour in 2003 the ANA was newly
The advisory team of RMTC-N and RMH-N. formed and very much in its infancy. While its leadership was well intentioned, it was evident to me that they had a great deal of ground to cover to truly develop into a professional force. The ANA of today is a different force altogether, at least based on what I have observed at RMTC-N in the past few months. RMTC-N benefits from having senior commanders and staff who truly understand the key role they play in the future security of this nation. Their positive attitude and involvement in the day-today running of operations is key to the success of this institution. Unlike my experience in 2003 when officers did literally everything because they did not trust their NCOs, the leadership here values the critical contributions of the NCO Corps, or Bridmal as they are known, and empower them at every level. Key commanders can be sighted with their Bridmal by their side, sharing advice and bouncing ideas off of each other just as one would witness in any modern Western military. As a result, the RMTC is now responsible for all frontline instruction conducted at the school. Canadians have been rightfully relegated to a second-row role, offering advice only when required in order to put the finer touches on training. Still, there are some ongoing challenges and areas where the ANA could definitely improve, such as effective long-range planning, proper resource stewardship, and adequate staff coordination at various levels. Perhaps the biggest challenge, however, is the lack of a functional logistics system. As with any army, if the logistics systems fail to function effectively, operations suffer. It is in these areas where the team of Canadians will focus our efforts to aid the ANA in the coming months. At every level the leadership here has responded well to Canadian advisors. I attribute our success as mentors to the significant investment we have made in relationship building immediately upon hitting the ground. I stressed to the team during pre-deployment training the importance of gaining Afghan trust, something which is not implicit, but earned. The importance of building the proper rapport with Afghans cannot be understated. It did not take them long to put that training into practice. Team members have spent countless hours developing sound relationships with their advisees, drinking tea, exchanging stories and gaining an understanding of their counterparts on a personal level. Advisors represent a cross-section of Canadian society and reflect typical Canadian values and beliefs in everything they do. Their professionalism, humour and innate ability to treat their
Afghan counterparts with humility and respect sets them apart and enables them to get things done that would otherwise be impossible. Equally important and intrinsically linked to rapport building is the need to understand Afghan culture, a culture I would argue even the most educated anthropologist would struggle to fully comprehend. So as we go about our daily business of advising ANA members, we are continually learning more and more about Afghan society. Simple phrases in Dari and respecting customary pleasantries and manners has gone a long way. After three months, most advisors have removed their â€œWestern lensesâ€? and now strive to view things from an Afghan perspective. Making this fundamental leap is critical if we are to succeed. To make any progress with our Afghan counterparts, we must first develop a level of mutual respect and trust, and be willing to step outside of Western cultural norms. I am very proud of the work carried out by Canadians here. Once again, we have taken a leadership role on the international stage and our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen are doing our nation proud. From where I sit, I am confident that the work we are doing is important, and I am very optimistic about the future of the ANA.
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JUne/JUlY 2012 25
Interoperability Giles Peeters, Track24’s Canadian defence director, has almost 20 years of communications experience working for the UK Ministry of Defence and NATO. Track24 Canada recently won a Shared Services Canada contract to supply the federal government with satellite and short burst data services.
Interoperable communications Networking the ANSF as NATO steps down
proven itself alongside coalition partners on the frontline, it is n an age of coalition-run conflicts, interoperable communicawell known that background elements like logistics and commutions are more important than ever before. No country can nications require improvement. NATO cannot afford to equip afford to operate on its own, and cooperation with partners the ANSF with state-of-the-art battlefield management systems is crucial. (BMS) or dedicated milsat channels, after all, most NATO counThe changing nature of conflict from industrial war to war tries cannot afford either. among the people means allies need to be able to quickly and Effectively coordinating a large army over a country spanning effectively communicate with each other to contribute to a comthousands of kilometres requires a different skill set and new techmon operational picture (COP). NATO recognizes interoperabilnology. Interoperable BLOS communications will be imperative, ity as paramount for any deployment and ensures it is achieved and with minimal communications infrastructure already in place, through standardization. The NATO Standardization Organizait makes sense to consider the U.S. Department of Defense’s tion (NSO) proceeded to introduce Standardization Agreements commercial satellite strategy. Around 80 percent of DoD’s satcom (STANAGS) for everything from HF radio equipment to surveilis provided by commercial carriers, which allows it the bandwidth lance reconnaissance tracking. to effectively command and control its assets. However, the recent conflict in Afghanistan Commercial satcom works well for nations presented NATO with new challenges. The The question of like Afghanistan. It can be AES256 encrypted, expansive, mountainous territory made radio communications and is affordable, agile and interoperable. Uncommunication impractical due to its limited range and dependence on line-of-sight. The interoperability is now like established militaries which must contend NATO Consultation, Command and Conback at the top of the with rigid legacy systems, countries with developing military forces can exploit commercial trol Agency (NC3A) therefore introduced the agenda as NATO and opportunities to their full potential and build NATO Friendly Force Identifier (NFFI). This “open source” standard allowed in-country the coalition looks to secure interoperable communications systems allies to securely interconnect with one anothhand power over to from the ground up. Afghanistan and other countries going through major restructuring, er over satellite and radio to route data into a the Afghan National like Libya and Iraq, need to consider interopCOP and minimize friendly force casualties. erability now, and set a communications stanThis was important in the context of AfghanSecurity Forces. dard which can be shared with organizations istan as it allowed for flexible interoperability like NATO if assistance is required in the future. between participating nations often using different technology. It While the short-term benefits, in Afghanistan’s case, are centred was about more than just being able to talk with the nearest comon stability and the ability to coordinate with NATO as it withmander in the field; it was the introduction of coordinated comdraws, it won’t be long before the ANSF has to communicate mand and control. with first responder communities such as the police and ambuThe size and the structure of the battleground has changed, and lance services. But that’s the advantage of commercial off-thesoldiers are now expected to engage in intra-community warfare. shelf solutions; they’re not restricted to military use and could Situational command and control (SCC) has become critical. A easily be adapted and deployed by the police. capability gap still exists for many organizations when operating Countries like Afghanistan don’t have to contend with rigid legacy beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) as radio communications cannot systems that are hard to re-configure; they can set a communications provide the capability satellite technology fulfils. Therefore it is standard and engage with commercial off-the-shelf solution providnot just the interoperability of data formats that is crucial but also ers from the outset, to secure high levels of capability at a low cost. the ability to combine both radio and satellite technology to enFrom the military perspective, if the ANSF can adopt the same sure global coverage. The NFFI has allowed coalition partners to data standards introduced by the NSO then it can ably contribute converge data and therefore operations, despite having their own to a COP that allows coalition forces to withdraw from the region communication legacy platforms and SCC technology in place. while still offering advice and assisting as necessary. But from a The question of communications interoperability is now back restructuring viewpoint, interoperable communications should be at the top of the agenda as NATO and the coalition looks to developed from the ground up so a range of organizations can hand power over to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). take advantage. The ANSF will stand up almost 200,000 troops, and while it has 26 JUNE/JULY 2012
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Intelligence Bonnie Butlin is executive director of
the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies and co-chair of the National Capital Security Partners’ Forum.
Will austerity help or hinder security collaboration?
wo recent events highlight the need for increased collaboration in the Canadian and international security landscape under conditions of increasing austerity. On May 31, the National Capital Security Partners’ Forum (NCSPF) hosted an evening panel discussion in Ottawa, “National Security versus Corporate Security: What the two can learn from each other.” Moderated by Lynn Mattice, the panel featured MGen (Ret’d) Doug Dempster, former NATO assistant secretary general for executive management; Mivil Deschenes, chief security officer (CSO) for RioTinto; Jeffrey Miller, VP and CSO for the National Football League; Melissa Hathaway, former cyber security czar to the White House; Julie Myers Wood, former assistant secretary with the Department of Homeland Security; and J. David Quilter, former CSO for four Fortune 500 companies and former supervisory special agent for the DEA. In early June, the Kingston Conference on International Security, hosted by the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queen’s University, the U.S. Army War College, and the Land Force Doctrine and Training System of the Canadian Forces, examined “International Security in an Age of Austerity.” A key takeaway of the May 31 discussion was that national security and corporate security need to better understand and communicate with each other to achieve their unique and mutual security objectives. There has been limited academic interaction among the national security and corporate security disciplines – the former historically being more strategic in approach and the latter more tactical. In practice, neither business nor military models have transposed effectively onto the other community – the application of business efficiencies to military operations during the Vietnam War and to the Canadian military during the 1990s were deeply damaging to military effectiveness and by extension national security. Similarly, military models proved too restrictive for business innovation over time. No longer can either the national security or corporate security communities perform effectively in isolation – military and economic power are inextricably linked. Globalization has had multiple effects on trade, threats and security, among them the concentration of infrastructure under private ownership, increased targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure by threats, unprecedented levels of mission- and security-related outsourcing to the private sector by government, and the increasingly strategic nature of corporate security as business operates internationally. 28 JUNE/JULY 2012
A key takeaway of the Kingston conference was that the NATO alliance is struggling under financial pressures and competing understandings of security and related requirements in the wake of the risk-based, high-cost, expeditionary Afghanistan mission. Long wars and expeditionary responses in support of national security are fast losing support among increasingly inward-looking Western populations and their governments. NATO is moving forward with Smart Defence – a capabilities- and competenciesbased approach that seeks to pool and share capabilities within the alliance. While Shared Services may be an example of this approach at the whole-of-government level in Canada, others are harder to find. The inclusion of the corporate security community at a whole-of-effort level in Canadian security efforts may be critical in countering globalized threats, such as cyber threats, which governments have so far failed to effectively address unilaterally. Domestically, government is making deep efficiency cuts while struggling to identify the value and requirements of national security to Canadians. The Canadian bureaucracy is resizing and carrying forward in “survival-mode,” shedding and shrinking capabilities while reacting more slowly and tactically. Canadians will be increasingly resistant to expansive, high-expenditure security approaches, such as Public Safety’s risk-based, all-hazards approach, which contributed to the unprecedented cost of G8/G20 security. While the U.S. is becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of support from European partners, there are indications that the Canadian corporate and not-for-profit security communities are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of federal government engagement in collaborative Canadian security efforts, both in terms of resources and participation. Under current austerity conditions, government risks hardening existing silos and drawing on increasingly limited in-house resources rather than on identifiable capabilities and competencies located beyond itself. Recent government emphasis on shared visions and values – anchors during change – may be insufficient to mitigate current isolationist tendencies that hinder cost-effective, collaborative efforts. This may in part explain the appeal and rapid spread of the collaborative and capabilities- and competencies-focused Canadian Security Partners’ Forum network; the Calgary and Southern Alberta Security Partners’ Forum launched earlier this month and is the tenth Forum structure in Canada while the Nova Scotia Security Partners’ Forum held its inaugural event in June.
Edge of Tech E
by Daniela Fisher
An investment in security science
or a Canadian Forces combat engineer serving as an explosive ordnance disposal technician, having the best technology for the job is crucial. So too for first responders such as police, firefighters or paramedics when confronting a possible chemical or radiological incident. In both instances, the research and science behind new technologies can save lives. Since 2006, Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (CSS) has been at the heart of a collaborative effort involving 19 federal departments, academia and industry to manage three programs around CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological-nuclear and explosives) research and technology; public security S&T efforts in critical infrastructure protection, emergency management systems and interoperability; and a S&T police research centre. CSS has leveraged expertise from various sectors to identify gaps and deliver solutions to a range of safety and security challenges, from emergency and specialized planning to policy options, from food safety to CBRNE counter-measures, environmental responses and law enforcement requirements. On June 17, the government announced the creation of the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP), an amalgamation of those three CSS programs that is intended to streamline management processes, enhance the centre’s results, and improve alignment with government priorities. Drawing on best practices identified under the previous three programs, CSS’s mandate will remain to strengthen Canada’s ability to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters, serious accidents, crime and terrorism through the convergence of S&T with policy, operations and intelligence. However, as Defence Minister Peter MacKay explained in announcing the annual $43.5 investment, integrating these efforts under one comprehensive program “ensures that Canada has a technological advantage to cope with disasters, minimizing as much as possible their impact on the lives and livelihoods of Canadians.” Formed as a joint venture between National Defence and Public Safety Canada, CSS will use the boost in funding for the CSSP to support projects and fill gaps in knowledge and capabilities identified through risk and vulnerability assessments. CSSP will continue to promote a collaborative approach. Through projects, studies, exercises, workshops and other activi-
A Canadian Forces EOD tech training in Wainwright. ties, it will allow a diverse field of experts to tackle the most pressing safety and security issues by collaborating on the development of knowledge, tools, processes and strategies. Accordingly, the program will provide funding through three separate investment categories: an annual competitive call for proposals; targeted funding for projects not addressed by the call for proposals; and community development funding to support the activities of communities of practice. The funding will be targeted at nine types of projects, including evidence-based studies of known public safety and security issues, R&D projects of applied research to generate new knowledge or awareness, technology demonstrations, workshops, technology acquisition projects, and operational support, either through S&T projects or testing and evaluation projects. Funding has also been allocated to stand-up the DRDC Emergency Responder Test and Evaluation Establishment (ERTEE) in Regina to work with practitioners, universities and industry to test and evaluate potential technologies, and examine associated standards, processes and methodologies. “The new program builds on [past] successes and brings together the best science and technology in support of Canada’s public safety and national security priorities,” said Dr. Marc Fortin, DRDC’s chief executive officer, in a release. The CSSP is an evolution of that success. The Centre for Security Science was created in the aftermath of 9/11 to manage the research work of the CBRNE Research and Technology Initiative, and later that of the two additional public security S&T programs. The harmonization of all three into the CSSP carries that work forward. Through the three programs, CSS developed a complex network of partnerships comprised of all levels of governments, responder organizations, non-governmental agencies, industry and academia. CSSP will seek to continue to build on that legacy. www.vanguardcanada.com
JUNE/JULY 2012 29
t tHe last Word George Macdonald retired as vice Chief of the defence
staff in 2004 and has since worked as a consultant on defence and security issues. he is a board member of the Conference of defence Associations institute and a Fellow of the Canadian defence and Foreign Affairs institute.
the f-35: Back to basics
he F-35 project has attracted more media attention than any other Canadian procurement in recent history. Claims of poor government communication, misleading cost estimates, and defence procurement incompetence have dominated the headlines for some time now. Photo: Cpl darcy lefebvre Through all this, we have lost sight of the fact that Canada needs a new fighter to replace the current CF-18 fleet circa 2020. It is time to pause for a moment, put aside the media hype, and reflect on the fundamental rationale for what has been known as the Next Generation Fighter Capability project. Most Canadians will acknowledge that Canada should have a capability to defend sovereign airspace and to effectively deploy for international operations when required. While our airspace is not under any imminent threat, the size and geographic importance of Canada make it unwise not to have the ability to patrol our boundaries, with armed force if necessary. This is the foundation of our NORAD partnership with the United States and the same capabilities are fundamental to our responsibilities to the NATO alliance. Someday, unmanned aerial vehicles may be able to replace manned fighters, but a few more generations of development will be required before that can even be considered. The RCAF has identified what are known as the high level mandatory requirements for a new fighter. There are three of these which are critical to successful operations in the future: survivability, interoperability, and comprehensive situational awareness using sensors and data fusion. The first of these has received the most attention; everyone has an image of what stealth really means. Whatever that interpretation, stealth is critical to survivability. Also important is sensor capability and their integration with a sophisticated self-defence suite. Interoperability is often assumed to be the exploitation of common spares and ordnance. In fact, it is much more than that; it includes secure, high-capacity networks to communicate with allies and share data in a secure environment. Moreover, a common in-service support network, with common aircraft configurations, will vastly enhance interoperability. The third mandatory requirement, relating to situational awareness, is perhaps the least understood. Combat operations have evolved in complexity and time criticality. Targets can be assigned when fighters are already airborne; real-time intelligence can be communicated to joint forces in a theatre; and sensor information 30 JUne/JUlY 2012
from multiple sources can be fused into a common operating picture for all to access. The capability of a fighter pilot to be aware of the environment and threats around him is critical to the completion of the mission, the effective use of friendly resources, and the survivability of the fighter from ground and air attack. Given the evolving capability of fighter technology, Canada proposes to purchase only 65 replacement aircraft, less than half the number of CF-18s acquired. If we plan to fly them for four decades, as will be the case for the CF-18 when it is finally retired, it is critical that we begin that 40 years of operational service with the aircraft that is best suited to fulfil the requirements identified. It is true that there are other fighters currently available to do the job now, but their technological and operational relevance will not be able to keep pace with the requirement. Without this relevance, Canada would be unable to continue to participate effectively in fighter operations as we have done in the past. The F-35 is clearly the only fighter than will meet Canada’s needs over the longer term. It will be an expensive acquisition, as other major weapons systems have been and will continue to be. But, as a partner nation in the Joint Strike Fighter Program, Canada will be getting the best value for its investment. Canada is involved in decisions related to the development of aircraft capabilities now and will participate actively in the future growth and improvement of the aircraft. JSF partnership will ensure we get the “members” price on the aircraft and, importantly, we benefit from the economies of scale in the support costs for a worldwide fleet of more than 3000 aircraft. Throughout, Canada can take some comfort that eight other nations have chosen the F-35 as their future fighter and, as partners, are prepared to participate in the management of the fleet. As with any large defence procurement, there are many issues which have to be monitored carefully. There will continue to be unexpected developments and possibly delays in F-35 production and introduction into service. Throughout, however, we need to keep in mind that the rationale for a new fighter is well supported by Canada’s long-standing defence policy priorities. The requirements identified reflect a sensible approach to a 40-year operational life and are consistent with those of our like-minded allies. We can’t predict all the future missions for which the aircraft might be needed but we can ensure that the air force has the most capable aircraft available to meet the challenge.
R su ex se in na pu
Th au ag be
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