Friday, April 22, 2016

Royal Canadian Navy looking at extending life of Kingston-class Vessels

By: David Pugliese, The Ottawa Citizen
With added commentary by: Daniel Maillet, CAF Dispatch Author 

The Royal Canadian Navy is now conducting a feasibility study about extending the life of the Kingston-class ships.

The vessels have a design life of 25 years making the “end” of life of the ships between 2020 to 2023, Royal Canadian Navy officers recently told industry representatives.

Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) BRANDON (pictured), and HMCS WHITEHORSE make a quick port visit in San Diego, California, United States of America, before heading out to the Eastern Pacific Coast to start Operation CARIBBE on October 23, 2015.

Photo: OP Caribbe, DND
Le Navire canadien de Sa Majesté (NCSM) BRANDON (sur la photo) et le NCSM WHITEHORSE font une courte escale à San Diego, en Californie (États Unis) avant de se diriger vers la Côte est du Pacifique afin de lancer l’opération CARIBBE, le 23 octobre 2015.

Photo : Op Caribbe, MDN
Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) BRANDON makes a quick port visit in San Diego, California, United States of America, before heading out to the Eastern Pacific Coast to start Operation CARIBBE on October 23, 2015. Photo: OP Caribbe, DND ET2015-6005-01
The ships were delivered starting in the mid-1990s. The RCN has operated ships beyond their life expectancy by doing various upgrades.

The RCN is now studying the potential for five, 10 and 15-year life extensions on the Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, industry reps were told. It hopes to complete its study by August.

This life-extension is most-likely needed as the new Canadian Surface Combatant Fleet and Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships that are to replace the Kingston-Class and Halifax-Class vessels will not be ready until the late 2020s at the earliest.

The data below about the Kingston-class is provided by the RCN:

The Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs) are multi-role minor war vessels with a primary mission of coastal surveillance and patrol including general naval operations and exercises, search and rescue, law enforcement, resource protection and fisheries patrols.

Launched between 1995 and 1998, these ships are very flexible. Several types of mission specific payloads can be added to allow for rapid role change from one mission type to another such as a mechanical minesweeping system, a route survey system, and a bottom object inspection vehicle.

The 12 Kingston-class MCDVs are crewed primarily by Naval Reservists and are divided equally between both coasts.


Displacement: 970 tonnes (full load)

Length: 55.3 metres

Beam: 11.3 metres

Draught: 3.4 metres

Engine: Diesel-electric: Two Jeumont DC electric motors each drive a Lips azimuthing thruster with a five bladed propeller, powered by four 600V AC alternators driven by Wartsila SCAM V12 Diesels.

The Kingston-class ship’s homeports are Esquimalt, British Columbia, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The current Kingston-class ships are:
HMCS Kingston (700)
HMCS Glace Bay (701)
HMCS Nanaimo (702)
HMCS Edmonton (703)
HMCS Shawinigan (704)
HMCS Whitehorse (705)
HMCS Yellowknife (706)
HMCS Goose Bay (707)
HMCS Moncton (708)
HMCS Saskatoon (709)
HMCS Brandon (710)
HMCS Summerside (711)

Juneau: Canadian Forces face a reality check - Time to do less with less

By: Thomas Juneau, The Globe and Mail 

Thomas Juneau is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. From 2003 to 2014, he was an analyst with Canada’s Department of National Defence. He is a fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

The Liberal government announced on April 6 that it is launching public consultations to inform the drafting of its new defence policy. In launching the review, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan emphasized that defence policy must be shaped by the defence needs of the country.

This is as it should be. In practice, however, defence policy is more often than not hijacked by domestic politics, the capture of the process by bureaucratic and other interests, and the world view of whoever holds power at the time. Given that the timeline of weapons procurement is measured in decades, new governments are also boxed in by the actions – and inaction – of their predecessors.

What would be the foundation of the new defence policy if Mr. Sajjan’s wise guidance is followed? Contrary to the assessments of the opening chapters of the past two defence-policy documents under the Stephen Harper and Paul Martin governments, Canada is extraordinarily safe. Few countries in history have benefitted from a position as secure as ours.

This is not to suggest that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) do not serve a purpose. The country has some defence needs, notably in monitoring our borders and contributing to the defence of North America alongside the United States. The CAF are also an important tool to help Canada pursue influence abroad. Sound defence policy, moreover, cannot entirely dismiss the possibility that threats could arise in the future. But the reality that Canada is a fundamentally secure country implies that there is no strategic rationale for increasing today’s already small defence budget.

That today’s international security environment is not peaceful is irrelevant, or at least it should be. What matters is that there is no conventional direct military threat to Canada, neither now or for the foreseeable future, while other, lesser threats are limited.

It is a matter of when, not if, terrorists try to strike Canada again. But the best defences against terrorism are law enforcement and intelligence, not frigates and fighter jets. A resurgent Russia threatens Eastern Europe – but not Canada. We should keep an eye on the evolving balance of power in East Asia and should certainly increase our diplomatic and commercial presence there – but our defence interests are limited. Instability in the Middle East will continue for decades. But none of the region’s many conflicts pose a direct military threat to Canada.

In this context, Canada has the rare luxury of being able to use its military to pursue opportunities, not in response to direct threats. With its security guaranteed, Canada can and should aim to be a reliable ally to the U.S. and to NATO, and to support vulnerable partners in hotspots throughout the world. But this does not justify the investment of large amounts of additional money for defence.

The pursuit of Canada’s international interests would be best served through enhanced investments in diplomacy and development. For a fraction of the investments in major military kit, Canada can get a better bang for a smaller buck.

On the defence side, this implies that the CAF should, in the coming years and decades, do less with less. This may be unfortunate or unpalatable to some, but it is the logical consequence of the fundamental reality of Canada’s secure position. To better equip the CAF to support Canada’s international objectives, enhanced investments in defence diplomacy – notably in capacity-building and training programs – would provide the government with relatively inexpensive but highly valuable tools.

The foundation on which sound defence policy should be built, in sum, is a level-headed assessment of the defence needs of the country. Let us hope that the current policy review recognizes that on this basis, Canada is in a highly enviable position.

Royal Canadian Navy rescues sea turtles during deployment

Navy News /

By Lieutenant (Navy) Patrick White

While patrolling the Guatemala Basin during Operation CARIBBE on April 2, 2016, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Edmonton freed two sea turtles ensnared in a fishing float.

The float was detected by the ship during the afternoon watch and, upon closer inspection, was seen to have two loggerhead sea turtles tangled up in the fishing lines. Within minutes, Edmonton had its rigid-hulled inflatable boat in the water and several sailors proceeded to cut the lines in order to free the animals.
Master Seaman Donald Merlo
Master Seaman Donald Merlo of HMCS Edmonton lifts a loggerhead sea turtle free of fishing lines.
“We take a lot of precautions during our operations to have minimal impact on the environment, including sea life,” said Master Seaman Donald Merlo, who helped free the turtles. “I’m proud to be part of an organization that helps contribute to global peace and security, while honouring Canada’s commitment to future generations.”

The sea turtles had some visible signs of injuries sustained from their time in distress, but immediately carried on their way once set free.

HMC Ships Edmonton and Saskatoon were recently deployed on Op CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to Op MARTILLO, a multinational campaign against transnational criminal organizations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Learn more about Op CARIBBE and Canada’s contribution to counter-narcotic operations.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Army opens new Leopard II tank maintenance facility

Frontline Defence News: 

Colonel Daniel MacIsaac cuts the red ribbon during the Grand Opening of the Leopard II Main Battle Facility with military personnel and civilians are in attendance at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, Oromocto, New Brunswick. (Photo credit: Stephanie MacGillivray, Tactics School, 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown).
The new Leopard II Main Battle Tank Maintenance Facility was officially opened today at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown. The Leopard II Main Battle Tank Maintenance Facility is a one storey, 1,740 m² maintenance and storage building. Two of the maintenance bays allow for full turret rotation and the third bay is dedicated to standard maintenance.

Colonel Daniel MacIsaac, Commander 5th Canadian Division Support Group was on hand today to showcase the Facility, which also features a new 52-tonne crane. Total construction cost for both buildings was $6.7 million.

Zarhey, Afghanistan. 18 February 2008 - A Canadian Leopard 2 tank from C Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse (LdSH), fires during a firing-range exercise to adjust the 120-mm guns, near an advanced operations base in the Panjwayi district of Afghanistan. (Photo by: Cpl Simon Duchesne, HQ, JTF AFG, ROTO 4)
Zarhey, Afghanistan. 18 February 2008 - A Canadian Leopard 2 tank from C Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse (LdSH), fires during a firing-range exercise to adjust the 120-mm guns, near an advanced operations base in the Panjwayi district of Afghanistan. (Photo by: Cpl Simon Duchesne, HQ, JTF AFG, ROTO 4)
“I am very pleased to officially open this new facility," Col MacIssac said. "It will contribute to the success of our mission by enabling the work of our professional maintainers to keep the equipment functioning at its optimum capacity, and to keep the training mission on target.’’

The building was designed to Green Globes standards and its energy efficiency was increased through the use of equipment such as energy-efficient lighting fixtures, lamps and ballasts, lighting controls, energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, high-efficiency boilers, energy-efficient hot water service systems, and building automation systems.

In addition to the newly constructed Leopard II Main Battle Tank Maintenance Facility, the existing building also underwent upgrades. The eight service bays in the existing building had concrete slabs upgraded so that the floor can take the point loads of the Leopard II on jack stands. Ventilation, mechanical, and electrical services were also upgraded.

The new building consists of open and closed office space; a conference room; washrooms; three maintenance bays; a power pack storage room; a supply storage room for engines and major assemblies storage (EMAS); small parts storage; and storage space for petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL).

The main battle tank and its heavily protected direct fire capability continue to be relevant on the modern battlefield. The Leopard II has proven itself as a deterrent to attacks and has allowed Canadian soldiers to safely cross terrain impassable for wheeled vehicles. Tanks can also provide our troops with direct-fire capability to destroy obstacles and can save lives by providing soldiers with a high level of protection. The Leopard II is a key element of the warfighting capability of the Canadian Armed Forces.

“Our Leopard II Tanks are an important part of the Canadian Armed Forces and this new facility will help ensure that the equipment our soldiers use on a daily basis remains safe and effective as they support readiness training at home and operations abroad,” said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.

Conservative and Liberal MPs trade blame for failed Military Procurement

By: David Pugliese, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The Conservatives and Liberals traded barbs in the Commons Wednesday, arguing about who was to blame for failed military equipment purchases after an Ottawa Citizen article revealed some of the Canadian Forces key acquisitions will see their funding delayed.

The Liberal government’s budget, released in late March, calls for $3.7 billion in spending on equipment to be delayed until 2021 or later.

But the Citizen revealed that some of the military’s top equipment programs — including projects to buy new Cyclone maritime helicopters and Arctic patrol vessels — will be among the projects to see their funding delayed.

Citing the Citizen article, a trio of Conservative MPs launched attacks on the government, accusing the Liberals of cutting the defence budget.

“Unfortunately, here in Ottawa our military is entering another era of darkness,” said Tory defence critic James Bezan.

But John McKay, parliamentary secretary to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, said it was the Conservative government that left military procurement and funding in a mess.

McKay said no money is being cut from the defence budget. Instead of fixing procurement and financial problems, he said the Conservatives were “climbing in and out of fake airplanes,” a reference to former defence minister Peter MacKay’s $40,000 press conference during which he posed in a model F-35 jet.

Then-defence minister Peter MacKay checks out the cockpit of a mock F-35 Joint Strike Fighter following an announcement in July 2010 that the federal government would be purchasing a number of the jets. The purchase never went through.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld/File - Then-defence minister Peter MacKay checks out the cockpit of a mock F-35 Joint Strike Fighter following an announcement in July 2010 that the federal government would be purchasing a number of the jets. The purchase never went through.
“Had the former government actually done its work, then the procurement cycle would have matched the fiscal cycle and accordingly we possibly would have had some procurements met,” McKay said.

Besides delays in funding for the Arctic patrol ships and Cyclone helicopters, the budget plan would affect the CF-18 replacement, the modernization of the Halifax-class frigates and a program to provide new communications equipment to soldiers. Another $2.6 billion in equipment funding – not yet earmarked for specific gear — will also be withheld until 2021 or beyond.

It is unclear how some of the programs, such as the Cyclone helicopters, which are now being delivered, might be affected by the decision.

Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant said the plan to delay funding for the Cyclones is similar to then Liberal prime minister Jean Chéetien’s decision in the 1990s to cancel the EH-101 maritime helicopters.

Some analysts have voiced concern the $3.7 billion won’t be returned to the DND.

But Ashley Lemire, a DND spokeswoman, noted in an email, “some major projects experienced delays in their original timelines, which resulted in funds needing to be moved forward to future years.”

Canadian Rangers teaching Attawapiskat youth outdoor survival skills

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, April 20, 2016 1:34PM EDT

ATTAWAPISKAT, Ont. -- Out in the bush, a few kilometres from the First Nations reserve of Attawapiskat, about three dozen young Cree are learning basic outdoor survival skills -- from a Canadian Armed Forces soldier.

It's a tiny but important contribution by Canada's military to a community reeling from a series of suicides and suicide attempts by despairing children and teens, who all too often see little or no future for themselves.

Sitting in a semi-circle around a newly stoked fire, the giggling young men and women are paying various degrees of attention, as 2nd Lt. Wesley Jenkins, with the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, speaks.

"I just want to talk about what to do if you ever find yourself in a position that you go out on the land and you find yourself lost," he tells his young charges, pausing as one of the teens' cellphones rings jarringly.

"Hey folks, if I'm talking, I need you to not."

This is hardly boot camp, with rigid rules and regimented discipline. It's not what's called for. Along with survival training and sleeping and eating outdoors is chat about combatting harassment or abuse, and talk about cultural practices that are disappearing.

Some of the youths chopping or gathering wood, erecting shelters or putting up a teepee are among the most vulnerable in Attawapiskat, a town normally comprised of about 2,100 people.

Now, it's almost a ghost town in light of the annual two-week Goose Break, when many families head out to camps to hunt geese returning from the south. School is out.

It's also a particularly risky time for those unable to go on the traditional hunt, because parents are working, have no money, or are perhaps too strung out to care or cope.

With little to do, nowhere safe to go, and few other supports, boredom can lead them down a tragically well-worn path to self-destruction.

"It's better to be out on the land," says Wilbert Shisheesh, 15, as he helps prepare the bush camp. "These activities keep me busy -- nothing to do while we're back home in town."

Shisheesh says he himself avoids the "kind of sad" trap of substance abuse some of his peers have fallen into.

Attawapiskat is one of 20 communities that Jenkins and his colleagues visit as instructors for the Canadian Rangers, Canada's reservist military presence in the North, and the Junior Rangers.

"With all the recent goings-on in Attawapiskat, we are here to continue to run our youth program as we have in the past, and to try to take some pressure off the community," says Jenkins, from Mississauga, Ont.

"It gets them out on the land with people they know and trust -- the Canadian Rangers -- (and) with their friends. It gives them an opportunity to look beyond what's been happening recently."

The camp is the kind of rare organized activity that community leaders say would go a long way towards helping the teens stay out of trouble. But despite this week's federal government promise to help build a youth community centre, Shisheesh says he may not be around to see that happen.

There's no future for himself in the isolated fly-in town, he says.

"No, I don't see it," he says. "I don't think too much about what I want to be. I just try to keep myself busy."

Petrolekas: Canada risks Global Irrelevance with smaller Military

By; George Petrolekas, The Globe and Mail 

George Petrolekas served with the military in Bosnia, Afghanistan and NATO and is a fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

Trial balloons being floated around the defence policy review make one believe that the ultimate goal is to justify a greatly reduced armed forces; reduced in size, reduced in roles and reduced in reach.

There is a certain twisted logic underpinning these goals. In short, Canada is a fundamentally secure country, geographically immune from conventional military threats: Russian expansionism is a European problem; Mideast instability can be contained by others; China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea doesn’t affect Canada; and a host of other irritants can be addressed by minimal investments or alliances.

Paradoxically, the result would achieve the opposite of the “Canada is back” mantra the Prime Minister has been so fond of saying. We might be back only to find that no one pays much attention.

There are three roles for the Canadian Forces from which its missions, structure and equipment are derived, these being the defence of Canada and the security of our citizens, the defence of North America, and contributions to international peace and security.

The defence of Canada overlaps significantly with the defence of North America, but it imposes bare minimums of capability on land, air and sea. We must be able to detect whatever floats or flies near our 11,000 kilometre border (excluding the U.S. border). It is not simply about military threats but about illegal fishing vessels, illegal migration, polluting vessels, errant aircraft – to not discount those with malign intent, search and rescue and disaster response. That means aircraft and even drones to monitor our territory. Detection is not enough, hence fighters that can be dispatched, ships sent out to sea and an army that has to move anywhere inside the country.

Fighters or ships deploying to the Arctic means refuelling aircraft and replenishment vessels. To move soldiers requires transport aircraft, deployable shelters and the like. When it comes to the defence of Canada and the sheer distances involved, there is no doing less with less.

In assisting Canadians during the ice storm of 1998, around 14,000 soldiers were deployed from all parts of the country to Ontario and Quebec. In the same year, to find Swissair Flight 111 off the coast of Nova Scotia required a submarine and several ships. To host the Vancouver Olympics required more than 5,000 soldiers to provide security plus naval and air assets. To halt illegal fishing or to seize narcotics vessels requires a Navy with ships capable of intercepting, boarding and seizing vessels.

Beyond Canada, the defence of North America, means we must carry our share in relation to the United States. Canada cannot be perceived as a freeloader or the weak back door. Over 70 per cent of our trade is with the U.S., and any apprehensions about not carrying our weight would have dramatic repercussions on more than just our southern border. A Canadian Forces that is not interoperable with the U.S. would negatively affect perceptions of Canada as a full partner in North American defence; that also means being cognizant of U.S. concerns with missile defence.

These are not conceptual abstracts. They are simple realities and realpolitik.

Doing less with less seem aimed at our contributions to international peace and security. Discussions of niche roles are illusory at best. Canada’s disaster-assistance niche capability is empowered by hard-power assets – ships, planes, helicopters and superbly trained troops. Without the latter, the former is window dressing.

Yes, Canada can return to peacekeeping – but traditional peacekeeping no longer exists. Any forces we send have to be combat capable at the very least to protect themselves. Regardless, any overseas mission requires a Navy even better outfitted than today and an air force that not only moves our soldiers but protects them from the air.

Sunny ways will not alter impressions that Canada does not matter much anymore if Canada strives to do less with less – no matter how many times we repeat the opposite to ourselves. Words count for little with friends and allies – only deeds.

Petrolekas: Canada is ready for peacekeeping, and so are its soldiers

By: George Petrolekas, The Globe and Mail 

George Petrolekas served with the military in Bosnia, Afghanistan and NATO and is a fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

With a federal defence review in the offing, perspectives on peacekeeping have increased, as the Trudeau government promised increased Canadian participation in UN-led peacekeeping during the election.

Delivering on that promise is challenging, in part because UN peacekeeping is often viewed through a distorted lens – crystallized by Canada’s own peacekeeping monument in Ottawa showing a soldier in a blue beret armed with nothing but a radio, quelling violence by sheer moral presence. Even in the heyday of Canadian participation in UN-led peacekeeping there was little truth to that image – and even less so today.

The mythology of peacekeeping distorts views on how Canada should prepare, train and conduct UN operations – an image supported by a recentanalysis. The paper by the Rideau Institute makes two major arguments: One, that the Canadian experience in Afghanistan has rendered our country ill-prepared to participate in UN missions; and two, that Canada has forgotten the basic principles of peacekeeping.

The study’s main thrust is exemplified by this statement: “War-fighting and COIN [counterinsurgency] are enemy-centric, usually non-consensual missions that primarily involve offensive tactics, whereas peacekeeping is based on a trinity of alternative principles: consent of main conflicting parties, impartiality and the defensive use of force.”

The truth is that Canada’s military has never been more ready to undertake peace-related operations.

Canadian Forces certainly fought battles against the Taliban in Afghanistan but, overall, the Canadian approach to counterinsurgency was population-centric; in other words to protect and engage the population – not only from a security standpoint but in rebuilding civic structures and institutions.

Canada invested in people and projects: training the Afghan Army and police; building schools, roads, and infrastructure. Images of Canadians sitting for hours in village shura’s, sipping tea while negotiating, educating, and helping local populations were regularly shared with the media.

Secondly, if the UN were to undertake a peacekeeping mission in Syria, would Islamic State consent be needed? That would confer legitimacy on a terrorist organization and its crimes. The UN clearly recognizes a distinction through what are termed Chapter VI and Chapter VII mandates for UN forces.

Chapter VI mandates are applied in situations such as Cyprus, where two parties have achieved a form of truce and need UN assistance to monitor and de-escalate tensions. These mandates are few and far between. Chapter VII mandates recognize that there is a serious threat to world or regional peace and a UN force is charged to impose a peace by whatever means possible. There is no consent of conflicting parties needed or sought.

Nevertheless, mission mandates change, they are not static. Conflicts are dynamic and mission locations are inherently unsafe. In 1993-94, I served in Bosnia, outside Sarajevo. At the beginning, our task was to protect UN aid and food convoys from attack. Though we had no role in mediating the conflict we nevertheless had to be consistently prepared to fight in case the unarmed convoys were threatened. Our equipment was often found wanting.

Whether Canada is at war or in a war zone the difference is moot when it comes to protecting our soldiers. In Bosnia we circulated in open-top jeeps, passing through firefights and in a place where mines were ever present. Equipment acquired for the mission in Afghanistan was better, and has made us more capable.

In the middle of the Bosnia mission, a mortar exploded in Sarajevo’s central square, and our focus suddenly changed. Our tasks expanded to impose a total exclusion zone around Sarajevo, in part by seizing belligerent artillery which had rained up to 2,000 shells a day into the city. We negotiated, cajoled, reasoned and threatened – the threat of force was ever present. Near the end of my tour, the United Nations Protected Area of Gorazde was attacked, requiring a full-scale war-fighting response, including air strikes. Without that pushback, the UN’s promise to protect threatened civilian populations had no meaning.

Canada will never place soldiers in the untenable position that Dutch soldiers found themselves years later in Srebrenica. There, because the Dutch themselves were not under attack, they were considered to be complicit spectators to one of the largest war crimes of the last two decades after thousands of innocents were massacred. Strict adherence to impartiality and defensive fire has consequences.

For Canada’s military therefore, the premise has always been to have combat-capable soldiers and equipment, particularly when UN missions occur in conflict zones. Before any deployment, units undergo months of mission-specific training that includes cultural awareness, reinforcement of the Geneva Conventions, negotiating skills and incident simulation while practicing time and time again protection measures and controlled escalation.

The foundation, however, is and has always been for Canadians to retain the ability to escalate if conditions require, with the equipment to do so. In that sense, Canada’s Forces have never been better prepared for UN operations if Canada so wishes.

Think LAVs are thorny? Wait for the missile debate

By: KONRAD YAKABUSKI, The Globe and Mail

If you think the decision to sell arms to Saudi Arabia has inflamed old animosities between Liberal hawks and doves, realists and idealists, continentalists and anti-Americans, just wait until the debate about Canada joining the U.S. ballistic missile defence system gets fired up.

It is a debate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would prefer to do without. But a lot has changed since the last Liberal government said “no” to signing on to BMD in 2005. Now Canada is increasingly out of sync with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, seen as a free-riding non-participant in its own defence.

Harjit Sajjan can’t avoid this elephant in the room as he launches a review of Canadian defence policy. On Monday, the Defence Minister acknowledged that any consultation that omitted reopening the discussion on missile defence could not be considered an “open” defence review.

As his own department’s discussion paper unpinning the review explains: “Given the increase in the number of countries with access to ballistic missile technology and their potential to reach North America, this threat is expected to endure and grow more sophisticated in coming decades. In response to this change in the security environment, many of Canada’s partners and allies are working closely [on BMD] capabilities.”

But just how “open” is Mr. Trudeau to reconsidering a policy that tore apart his party the last time it crept onto the agenda? Not participating in BMD dovetails with the peace-seeker image he likes to project.

One of former prime minister Paul Martin’s first moves after taking over from Jean Chrétien was to ask the Americans, miffed about Canada’s decision to stay out of the war in Iraq, about joining then-U.S. president George W. Bush’s nascent BMD program. Mr. Martin’s defence minister David Pratt wrote in an early 2004 letter to his U.S. counterpart: “We believe this should provide a mutually beneficial framework to ensure the closest possible involvement and insight for Canada, both industry and government, in the U.S. missile defence program.”

Both Mr. Pratt and his successor at National Defence, Bill Graham, supported joining the U.S. initiative. But much of the Liberal brain trust was outraged.Lloyd Axworthy lashed out against Martin government ministers seeking to “appease Washington power brokers by signing on to an unnecessary missile defence system.” A who’s who of Canadian celebrities, including Alexandre Trudeau (then the activist Trudeau scion considered most likely to succeed in politics), formed “Stars Against Star Wars” to campaign against Canada joining BMD.

The issue became moot after Mr. Martin was reduced to a minority government in a mid-2004 election and was forced to rely on New Democratic Party votes in the House of Commons. (BMD was and remains a non-starter for the New Democrats.) Mr. Martin’s early 2005 decision to officially reject Canada’s participation in BMD was denounced as “delusional” by the Conservative opposition. But during his almost 10 years in power, former prime minister Stephen Harper never reversed the policy.

Whether it was public opinion or a shrinking (in real terms) defence budget that led to Mr. Harper’s non-action, it ran counter to NATO’s move to make BMD part of its “core task of collective defence.” As Mr. Pratt told a 2014 Senate committee: “We have 28 NATO nations saying that they endorse the need to protect their populations against rogue missiles, and Canada has been saying all the right things at NATO but not doing anything when it comes to our own situation here in North America.”

Since 2005, Iran and North Korea have continued to perfect their missiles – “to the point a threat has become a practical reality,” as the Senate defence committee’s final report put it two years ago. Russia and China are developing new weapons capable of striking North America, partly in reaction to a $1-trillion plan to modernize America’s nuclear arsenal that is championed by Barack Obama, the same U.S. president who won a Nobel Peace Prize for promoting nuclear non-proliferation.

The four-member panel appointed by Mr. Sajjan to review Canada’s defence policy includes Mr. Graham and former chief of the defence staff Ray Henault, both of whom are believed to have pressed Mr. Martin to join the U.S. program in 2005. Margaret Purdy, a former associate deputy minister of defence, may be similarly inclined. The same cannot be said for former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour.

Ultimately, it will be Mr. Trudeau’s call. Either way, it will divide his part

Military Procurement can help break Canada’s innovation logjam

By: Christyn Cianfarani, Globe and Mail 

Christyn Cianfarani is president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries

Stimulating innovation in the Canadian economy has proven to be one of the hardest things for governments to achieve. For a generation, most attempts have barely moved the needle.

A worker heads past CCGS Corporal Teather C.V., a Hero-class patrol vessel, at the Irving shipyard in Halifax, on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. Christyn Cianfarani argues military procurement can help break Canada’s innovation logjam. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)
A worker heads past CCGS Corporal Teather C.V., a Hero-class patrol vessel, at the Irving shipyard in Halifax, on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. Christyn Cianfarani argues military procurement can help break Canada’s innovation logjam.
(Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)
But a recent idea floated by Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development – namely, using government procurement as a tool to promote innovation – suggests that new thinking is in the air in Ottawa.

For nearly a generation, Canada has followed the standard policy menu to stimulate innovation. Governments have reduced marginal tax rates on business and workers; invested in university-based research, postsecondary education, training/skills development and infrastructure; opened Canada’s markets to international trade and investment; and provided generous research and development tax incentives.

The results have been disappointing. Canada’s productivity growth, which is highly dependent on innovation, remains stagnant, at about 1 per cent a year. New approaches and new policy tools are needed to break this logjam. One such tool is government buying power: procurement. And defence procurement is particularly well suited in this connection.

The defence industry operates in a managed global marketplace in which governments are the main if not sole customers. In the defence market, governments also have policy levers at their disposal and wider discretion to achieve their objectives than in other markets. Defence procurement, for example, is not nearly as constrained by trade agreements as other economic sectors.

For this and other reasons, many of our allies have for decades used military procurement to drive innovation in their economies. The British, U.S., French and Swedish economies, for example, would not be nearly as innovative today had they not approached military procurement with a focus on developing key defence technologies and innovations at home that often to lead to wider commercial applications and then exporting them abroad. Canada has not traditionally been in that game.

But since the 2014 introduction of the federal Defence Procurement Strategy, we have had a new tool in the policy tool box: “Industrial and technological benefits” (ITBs) and, in particular, the “value proposition” part of that program. The value proposition principle can require bidders on defence projects to make commitments to R&D and intellectual property transfer to Canada, both of which are key drivers of innovation. This principle, still in its infancy, needs to be embraced and used systematically and strategically going forward to enhance innovation in Canada’s defence industrial base.

This would not mean creating an innovative domestic defence industry out of nothing. Rather, it is a case of building upon a solid foundation.

A recently completed Innovation, Science and Economic Development/Statistics Canada survey concludes that the Canadian-based defence industry generates 60 per cent of its revenue from exports, which is 20 per cent higher than the overall Canadian manufacturing industry. An export intensity of that magnitude is an indicator of an innovative industry, especially given the highly regulated and protected international marketplace where defence companies operate.

The survey also reported that more than 30 per cent of employment in the Canadian defence industry is concentrated among highly skilled engineers, scientists, researchers, technicians and technologists, and the sector outpaced the overall Canadian manufacturing average in employee compensation, all of which are innovation indicators.

But to really achieve the result the government is looking for, an effort should be made to marry the innovation agenda with the recently announced defence review. Together, these provide the opportunity to make practical changes to improve the process of defence procurement while enhancing innovation.

Canada should take a page from the playbooks of its allies, which have addressed the industrial dimensions of military procurement in their defence reviews. The Australians, for example, have just published a defence white paper accompanied by a defence industrial policy focused on innovation in that sector.

The notion of using government procurement to move beyond the textbook innovation policy menu would be a welcome innovation in and of itself. The test case for this new approach should be the defence sector, in which Ottawa already possesses innovation policy instruments and is less constrained by trade agreements.

Canada’s defence industrial base can be a real source of innovation-led growth over the next few years. All it takes is government and industry working co-operatively and strategically toward that goal.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

DND fined $100,000 for diesel fuel spill from HMCS St. John’s

By: David Pugliese

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) ST. JOHN’S conducts operations in the Davis Strait, east of Baffin Island on August 16 during Op NANOOK 12. Photo: CAF Combat Camera
The Department of National Defence was ordered on April 11 in Halifax Provincial Court to pay a penalty of $100,000 after the DND admitted violating the Fisheries Act.

The charges stem from a May 8, 2013, incident where approximately 9000 litres of diesel fuel was spilled from HMCS St. John’s into Halifax Harbour while the vessel was at anchor, according to the federal government.

More details from the government here:

This led to several reports of a large sheen in the harbour and a strong smell of diesel fuel in the surrounding area.

DND representatives reported the diesel fuel spill on the morning of May 8, 2013, and participated in efforts to contain and recover the spill over the next several days. On January 30, 2015, Environment and Climate Change Canada charged DND for an alleged violation of the Fisheries Act.

Of the $100,000 penalty, $98,000 will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.

The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The fund was created in 1995 to provide a way to direct funds received as a result of fines, court orders and voluntary payments to priority projects that benefit our environment.


By: Lee Berthiaume, National Post (National Edition)

ADRIAN WYLD / THE CANADIAN PRESS There has been a “proliferation” of ballistic missiles since former prime minister Paul Martin opted not to join the U.S. missile defence program in 2005, says Lt.-Gen. Pierre St. Amand, left, a deputy commander with NORAD.
A Canadian senior military commander responsible for protecting against airborne threats to North America says Canada would not be shielded from a ballistic missile attack.

But he also admitted he did not know of any direct ballistic missile threat to Canada.

Lt.-Gen. Pierre St. Amand, deputy commander of the joint U.S.-Canadian aerospace defence system, NORAD, made the comments Tuesday when he appeared before the House of Commons defence committee where ballistic missile defence was front and centre.

The Ottawa Citizen revealed this week the Liberal government’s defence review includes questions about whether Canada should join the U.S. in building a shield against foreign-launched missiles.

While the New Democratic Party opposes Canada’s participation, several Conservative MPs, including former defence minister Jason Kenney, favour reopening the debate.

St. Amand listed ballistic missiles as one threat among the many NORAD watches for every day. The difference between it and other threats is it is the only one in which Canada would not have a say in how to respond, he said.

“Canada will be advised (of an attack),” he said. “With respect to the defence itself, we’ll know that there is going to be an action taken because we’re sitting in the room … We’re kind of a silent observer, if you want.”

There has been a “proliferation” of such weapons since then-prime minister Paul Martin opted not to join the U.S. missile defence program in 2005, St. Amand said, before referring to recent developments by North Korea and Iran.

The U.S. spent about $100 billion over the last decade to develop land- and sea-based systems that would stop a limited ballistic missile attack from rogue states, like North Korea or Iran. (They would not protect against an all-out attack by Russia or China.)

St. Amand agreed with an opposition assessment that if there were an attack, the Americans’ ballistic missile defence system would only be used to protect the U.S.

But he added he did not know of any direct ballistic missile threat to Canada from North Korea or elsewhere. Rather, it could be targeted during a war because of its alliances with the U.S. and NATO.

“There’s nothing specific that I can talk about,” he said when asked about direct threats. “The fact that we have signed up to certain alliances, NATO, for example, and we are closely aligned with the United States, means we are in a sphere where we could be targeted.”

NDP defence critic Randall Garrison said the comment was proof Canada does not need to join ballistic missile defence.

“If there’s no credible or realistic threat from a state actor to Canada, then why would we enter into (missile defence)?” he asked.

But Conservative defence critic James Bezan said with North Korea and Iran continuing to develop ballistic missile technology, Canada needs to be prepared.

“They may be aiming for the United States, but (Iranian or North Korean missiles) could fall into Canadian territory,” he said. On a visit to Washington, Kenney also spoke in favour of Canada reexamining the issue.

Military Budget 2016: Funds frozen for ships, choppers, fighters

By: David Pugliese, National Post (National Edition)

Key programs not immune to budget delays

Some of the Canadian military’s top equipment programs already underway — including projects to buy maritime helicopters and Arctic patrol vessels — will have their funding delayed as the Defence Department tries to deal with the Liberal government’s first budget.

Released in late March, the budget delays $3.7 billion in spending on equipment until 2021 or later.

But details provided to Postmedia by the department outline how even key military equipment programs just getting underway are not spared the funding freeze. Money is being withheld from programs that include:

Arctic offshore patrol ships ($173 million withheld)

Future fighter aircraft (CF18 replacement; $109 million withheld)

Cyclone maritime helicopter ($90 million withheld)

Halifax Class modernization and frigate life extension ($71.1 million withheld)

Integrated soldier system project ($39.4 million withheld)

Another $2.6 billion in equipment funding — not yet earmarked for specific gear — will be withheld until 2021 or beyond.

It is unclear how some of the programs — such as the Cyclone helicopters now being delivered — might be affected by the removal of funding.

In addition, construction has already begun on the Arctic offshore patrol ships; the first ship is to be in the water by 2018.

Defence sources have suggested the government could account for the $3.7 billion by delaying or cutting back on buying spare parts or other equipment for the ongoing projects, or delaying the arrival of some of the equipment.

Defence analyst Martin Shadwick said he was surprised active programs were being targeted. He noted that the Cyclones are supposed to be replacing the Air Force’s aging Sea King helicopters, a contract originally signed under Liberal prime minister Paul Martin in 2004.

“One possibility is that the Sea Kings will have to keep flying longer,” said Shadwick, who teaches strategic studies at York University in Toronto. “Or maybe systems that were supposed to be added to the aircraft won’t be.”

In some cases, the equipment projects are relatively new. In late July, the Conservative government announced that it had awarded an initial contract to Quebec-based Rheinmetall Canada Inc. to provide gear for the integrated soldier system project. That project aims to outfit soldiers with improved communications and computer equipment that can be worn on the battlefield.

Defence sources say the budget decision could affect later portions of the project.

In other cases, such as the recently upgraded Halifax Class frigates, the Royal Canadian Navy had planned a series of follow-on enhancements to keep the ships sailing until they can be replaced starting sometime after 2026.

During the election the Liberals promised to immediately launch a project to buy replacement aircraft for the CF-18s.

But the CF-18 fighter replacement project is one of the areas in which spending is being delayed, indicating that it won’t move as quickly as the Liberals originally claimed, said Shadwick.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has insisted that moving the funding to a later date does not mean the defence budget is being cut.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Boosting CAF UN Peace Operations: Proceed with caution


David McDonough, CDA Institute Research Manager and Senior Editor, recently published an article in The Embassycommenting on the government’s promise to renew Canada’s role in UN peace operations. 

The new Trudeau government has shown an interest in renewing Canada’s commitment to United Nations peace operations. The ministerial mandate letter given to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion spelled out this promise quite clearly, even if neither went into much detail on how this commitment will be realized.

A key problem is the commitment’s lack of context. By itself, it is hard to argue that renewing Canada’s role in UN peace operations is a bad thing. But such policy options cannot be judged in a vacuum. They must be placed within a context that recognizes the national interest, competing policy priorities and limited resources available to achieve such priorities, as well as the inevitable trade-​offs that come with such a means-​ends chain. Such a commitment should more properly be assessed as part of the government’s recently announced defence policy review.

The three pillars of priorities

It’s useful to return to the key priorities outlined in the last defence white paper: defence of Canada, continental defence, and international security. In some respects, these three reflect a rising degree of discretion for Canadian decision-​makers: no discretion when it comes to Canada, very little for North America, and greater discretion in how we approach expeditionary operations abroad.

Clearly, UN commitments relate to international peace and security. Canadian decision-​makers need to ensure that their non-​discretionary priorities are achieved first—such as monitoring our coastal waters, aerospace surveillance and defence of North America, search and rescue, and protection of our Arctic sovereignty and resources—before opting for more discretionary missions abroad like UN peace operations.

Yet not all missions in the third pillar are created equal or are equally discretionary. Canada also has the option of working primarily with key allies in pursuit of international security, including the United States, key European countries in NATO, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, among others. In so doing, Canada can better align its military role abroad with its interest in maintaining and strengthening relations with such countries.

The same cannot readily be said about UN operations, which might help burnish Canada’s reputation with the world body but where the national interest is hard to identify—a fact that will undoubtedly cause problems if and when a UN mission results in casualties.

A different, more dangerous, era

Such a possibility should not be discounted. Today’s UN missions are distinct from the past. Current missions retain the size and complexity of post-​Cold War operations, but now Blue Helmets can quickly become a participant in the conflict, such as when an “intervention brigade” was mandated to neutralize armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

We need to understand and appreciate that the game has changed. Future so-​called peace operations, including those established by the UN, will likely require robust military capabilities and entail possibly more dangerous operations, especially if more UN peacekeepers begin to fully apply their more proactive mandates.

Importantly, if Canada does undertake peace operations, it might be better served working with key allies and organizations like NATO. Canada would gain the additional benefit of working with like-​minded states with advanced, interoperable militaries that can bring considerably more firepower and sophistication to any mission. In NATO’s case, Canada would benefit from an organization with a strong command structure and extensive experience with robust peace or stabilization missions in places such as Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.

One should also remember the continuing gap between UN mandates and deployed forces. A good example is the hybrid UN-​African Union force in the Darfur region of Sudan, which despite a robust mandate adopted a non-​confrontational approach that has failed to halt attacks against both civilians and its own peacekeepers.

It might even be worse if peacekeepers began fulfilling their Chapter VII mandates to use force. Blue Helmets, not all of whom will be well-​trained or armed, will then likely be seen as more legitimate targets by non-​state armed groups with an increasingly sophisticated capacity for violence.

These missions can also not be easily separated from the wider post-​9/​11 environment, given the presence of jihadist groups from Boko Haram to Al Qaeda to ISIL (also called ISIS and the Islamic State) in numerous failed or failing states like Mali and Libya. This might increase the Canadian interest in undertaking such missions, but it also raises important dangers—from the possibility of our soldiers being specifically targeted to potential terrorist blowback both in Canada and to its interests overseas.

Context is key

This does not mean that Canada should eschew UN peace missions. But the Canadian government needs to take into account competing priorities and the possible dangers that could arise from such missions. Above all, strategic-​level thinking on the benefits, value, and possible costs and trade-​offs of undertaking these missions need to be carefully and diligently assessed.

In other words, if Canada chooses to undertake a significant UN mission, it needs to first ensure that this does not come at the expense of its non-​discretionary missions. Then it needs to assess its capacity to undertake such a mission in addition to its current operational tempo and, if that proves impossible, weigh the relative merits of a UN mission compared to other missions abroad, such as its role in NATO reassurance measures or as part of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.

Of course, Canada could try to avoid such trade-​offs by simply adding a significant UN role to its other commitments. But, absent a significant and sustained infusion of resources, this will prove exceedingly difficult.

What needs to be avoided at all costs is a fixation on UN peace operations that overshadows and supplants other priorities.This could endanger the non-​discretionary missions crucial for Canadian security and defence, as well as damage our relations with allies and long-​standing alliances like NORAD and NATO.

It could also have serious consequences to the future force structure of the Canadian Armed Forces. In light of budgetary shortfalls and recapitalization challenges, the government may be tempted to achieve cost savings by opting for an unbalanced force structure—one that is lightly armed, constabulary focused, and specializing in peace operations rather than combat-​capable, multi-​purpose, and joint.

Yet such a force would be ill-​suited for the range of missions (from constabulary to combat, and including robust peace operations) facing today’s CAF. It would also necessarily be manpower rather than capital intensive, meaning that the high personnel costs eating up much of the defence budget are unlikely to dissipate. As such, any cost savings will likely prove more illusory than real.

The strategic consequences of such a shorted-​sighted move will be severe and long-​lasting. Rather than simply affecting the government’s current choices, it would constrain the policy options available to Canadian decisions-​makers for decades to come. In that case, the Trudeau government’s adage that “Canada is back” may be remembered as more of a lament rather than the dawn of sunnier ways.

Originally published in The Embassy.

Dr. David S. McDonough is research manager and senior editor at the CDA Institute, and a research fellow at Dalhousie University’s Centre for Foreign Policy Studies.

Sajjan: DART Ready if Requested by Ecuador

The Associated Press

Canada has pledged $1 million in immediate aid. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Monday that DART, Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team, would be ready to deploy if Ecuador wants it. The DART can only deploy if Ecuador asks for it.

Members of the DART combat engineering team leading a versatile vehicle engineering (VPG), opens the passage to the village of Dolkha, Sindhupalchok district in Nepal, as part of Operation RENAISSANCE 15-1, May 7, 2015.
Photo: Sgt Yannick Bedard, Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre
Members of the DART combat engineering team leading a versatile vehicle engineering (VPG), opens the passage to the village of Dolkha, Sindhupalchok district in Nepal, as part of Operation RENAISSANCE 15-1, May 7, 2015. Photo: Sgt Yannick Bedard, Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre
Rescuers pulled three people out alive Monday after they had been trapped for more than 32 hours in the rubble of a shopping centre that was flattened by this weekend's powerful earthquake on Ecuador's coast.

Televised images of the dramatic pre-dawn rescue in the port city of Manta gave Ecuadoreans hope that some of the dozens of people still unaccounted for might yet be found even as the death toll from Saturday's 7.8-magnitude quake rose to 413. An American and two Canadians were among those confirmed dead from the worst quake to hit Ecuador in decades.

To reach the survivors trapped between the floor and roof of the collapsed shopping center in Manta, firefighters cut a nearly 70-centimetre hole through concrete then pulled a woman out head first. A group of firefighters applauded as she emerged from the debris, disoriented, caked in dust and complaining of pain but otherwise in good health.
Japan and Ecuador earthquakes not linked, seismologists say

Later, at the same site, about 50 rescuers working with sniffer dogs, hydraulic jacks and a drill managed to free another woman and a young man. All three were rushed in ambulances to a nearby hospital. In total, eight people were rescued from the site in the past 24 hours, said Angel Moreiera, the firefighter coordinating the effort.

Authorities had hoped to save another woman whose legs were pinned by a heavy concrete slab. They were working to free her when they were forced to abandon the effort during an aftershock. When they returned the debris pile had moved and the woman was dead, Moreira said.

Christian Rivera, the head of emergency services for the capital, Quito, said that depending on the circumstances a person without serious injuries can survive up to a week under the rubble.

A woman cries in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors. (Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images)

"After that, there's a quick decline ... and the rescuers' work becomes very difficult," he said.

Still, there are good reasons to believe more people will be found alive in the coming hours as some 450 rescue workers from Spain, Peru, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and elsewhere reached the most-affected areas along the Pacific coast. The U.S. has also offered assistance but so far President Rafael Correa, a strong critic of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, has yet to respond publicly.

Correa, upon arriving in Manta late Sunday, said that the priority remains finding survivors.

"Our grief is very large, the tragedy is very large, but we'll find the way to move forward," the Ecuadorean leader said, adding that the quake was the worst to hit the country since a 1949 earthquake in the Andean city of Ambato that took more than 5,000 lives. "If our pain is immense, still larger is the spirit of our people."
Power outages, aftershocks

Manta, a thriving port city, was among the hardest-hit areas. Power cables were strewn across city streets as electricity in many neighbourhoods remained down. Among the many buildings that were flattened was a control tower at the airport that was home to U.S. anti-narcotics missions in South America until Correa kicked the Americans out.
Torontonians anxious for messages from family after Ecuador earthquake

As rescuers scrambled through the ruins near the epicentre, in some cases digging with their hands to look for survivors, humanitarian aid began trickling in. More than 3,000 packages of food and nearly 8,000 sleeping kits were delivered Sunday.

The quake knocked out power in many areas along the coast and some who fled to higher ground fearing a tsunami had no home to return to or feared structures still standing might collapse. The country's Geophysics Institute said it recorded 230 aftershocks as of Sunday night.

Spain's Red Cross said as many as 5,000 people may need temporary housing after the quake destroyed homes, and 100,000 may need some sort of aid.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby didn't identify the American who was killed but said the U.S. government will work with Ecuadorean authorities to locate and ensure the well-being of all Americans. The area of pristine beaches where the quake struck is popular with American tourists and expat retirees.

Aggravating matters were reports of looting, including in Manta, where 180 prisoners from a nearby prison escaped amid the tumult. Authorities said some 20 inmates were recaptured and others returned voluntarily.

NDP blast Liberals’ decision to re-consider joining U.S. "Star Wars" System

By: Lee Berthiaume, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan stood by the Liberal government’s plan to re-examine ballistic missile defence following a flurry of NDP references to "Star Wars" — both the movie franchise and Ronald Reagan’s controversial plan to militarize space.

A long-range ground-based interceptor missile is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The U.S. spent about $100 billion over the last decade to develop land- and sea-based systems that would stop a limited ballistic missile attack from a rogue state like North Korea or Iran.
A long-range ground-based interceptor missile is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The U.S. spent about $100 billion over the last decade to develop land- and sea-based systems that would stop a limited ballistic missile attack from a rogue state like North Korea or Iran.
The issue erupted on the floor of the House of Commons on Monday, after the Ottawa Citizen revealed that the government’s defence review includes questions about whether Canada should join the U.S. in building a shield to protect it from foreign-launched missiles.

Missile defence had been largely off the public and political radar since then-prime minister Paul Martin famously opted not to join the U.S. program following a heated and extremely divisive national debate in 2005. However, the military and others have been pushing for years for Canada to re-consider the decision.

Sajjan insisted last week that the Liberals would not privatize military search and rescue, after it was revealed the idea had been raised during the defence review. But he defended the decision to take a second look at missile defence. The review is expected to culminate in a new defence policy early next year.

Matt Gurney: A Canadian role in ballistic missile defence
Liberals reopen debate 11 years after Martin government opted not to join U.S. ballistic missile defence
Defence cuts have left Canadian military in ‘fragile’ shape: Rick Hillier

“The government wants to ensure that Canada and North America are well defended from all threats,” he said. “We want to make sure that the defence review is open and wide. By not opening up the discussion on ballistic missile defence, allowing Canadians to have a say in this, it would not be an open defence review.”

But the NDP, which opposed Canadian participation in ballistic missile defence in 2005, immediately attacked the Liberals for re-opening the debate. NDP defence critic Randall Garrison linked missile defence to Reagan’s controversial Star Wars program in the 1980s, before saying he had “a bad feeling about this.”

Fellow NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice also referenced the Star Wars project in French, saying Canadians rejected the proposal 10 years ago, and adding: “Can’t the prime minister just watch the movie, instead of getting us into this useless thing that will cost us billions?”
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldDefence Minister Harjit Sajjan in the House of Commons on Monday: “The government wants to ensure that Canada and North America are well defended from all threats.”
The U.S. spent about $100 billion over the last decade to develop land- and sea-based systems that would stop a limited ballistic missile attack from a rogue state like North Korea or Iran. (They would not protect against an all-out attack by Russia or China.) The systems have had mixed success.

Supporters of ballistic missile defence have long disputed suggestions the program would militarize space by noting the equipment used to detect and intercept ballistic missiles from foreign states are all based on land or at sea. Critics, however, say it is only a matter of time until weapons are deployed in space.

Garrison told the Ottawa Citizen he remains concerned about ballistic missile defence touching off an arms race with other countries, and that he intends to make sure all viewpoints are heard during the defence review and not just those in favour of Canadian participation.

“I think it will be a very spirited debate if we reverse that policy,” he said.

Re-Fresh Idea for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy

By Mikaël Perron, CD
Defence Watch Guest Writer

As a three-ocean nation and a member of the G7, Canada shall be at the forefront of the world’s ocean safety. The flagships of a nation like ours should be using our own specific home design and should be of the highest standard.

So, the main classes of ships to be built under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS aka NSS) should be of a Canadian design. Over the years, Canada achieved independence from mother England by designing ships like the Cadillac destroyers, the Louis St-Laurent and river class icebreakers, the Provider and Protecteur class AOR, the Tribal class destroyer and the Halifax class frigate.

In the process, we developed ground breaking technologies like the bear trap that allows for the usage of a heavy helicopter from a destroyer’s deck, the probe at sea refuelling system, the extensive use of gas turbines on combat ships, the integrated platform management system and many other innovations. I strongly believe that we should be keeping that attitude, especially in the case of the Canadian Surface Combatant program.

A MP once questioned why the Canadian Navy should get the best destroyers in the world since we are a middle power! Well, for starters, Canada is a member of the G7 and is looking for a seat at the UN Security Council. We do not possess aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships or nuclear attack submarines but we definitely are a destroyers/frigate Navy.

More than 80% of world trade goes through the seas and nations that maintain the security of the major sea lane of communication (SLOC) are getting noticed. The western world’s population lost sight of it but there is a major fleet building in Asia and a great submarine proliferation around the world; our new ship should be able to match threats from, and capabilities of, other nations so our sailors return safely home.

In many parts of the world, gun boat diplomacy is a very actual tactic that is well understood. At a time of financial constrain, ships are much less expensive to deploy and maintain for an sustained international presence than moving a ground force or a large air force deployment.

Ships can remain in international waters for long periods; a minimum footprint ashore is required. Warships can also rapidly shift from a humanitarian or diplomacy mission to full combat capability.

Only a few nations can keep ships deploy away from home for long periods of time or seamlessly integrate into an American battle group; we should not lose those abilities.

On the Arctic front, the race for northern resources has begun. Russia is building up to 14 new conventionally and nuclear propelled heavy Icebreakers on top of their large actual fleet. The USA are now accelerating the regeneration process of their icebreaker fleet while players like China are sending Icebreakers to test the resolve of Arctic nations. We should maintain an active and persistent presence that requires more than one heavy icebreaker, considering the vastness of our Arctic claim and the maintenance cycle of these ships.

The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy was a very well thought process that was done with the best information available at that time. I fully support it but it needs to evolve to include a higher level of flexibility. As the situation evolves, it should be able to get the most out of the passing opportunities. It must, at all time, take in consideration the interests of our military personnel, the strategic interests of the nation, the taxpayers and of course the industry.

For example, Davie shipyard was basically bankrupt at the selection moment and it made sense from an accountant’s point of view to discard them although they possess the highest capacity shipyard in Canada.

Since then, they’ve built the most advanced civilian ship in North America and we could take advantage of that. The government must seize the opportunity to improve the NSPS to ad flexibility to it that will better serve our sailors, national interest, our budget but also the industry.

The downturn in the oil industry offers us the possibility to negotiate the acquisition of ships that would be otherwise unaffordable and unavailable. There are now two VS4220 sitting at Davie shipyard; one 70% and the other one 40% complete. These ships possess extreme capabilities that are perfect for our ocean’s conditions.

I propose that Canada acquires them as true multi-task high endurance vessel that will also double as Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessels (OOSV). The science equipment that was to go on the OOSV to be built will be installed on one of them (we could easily buy extra gear to equip both the same way).

They will also possess helicopter support capability to carry up to a Cyclone size helicopter and to land up to Cormorant or even Chinook helicopters. Their large fuel carrying capacity would also allow them to support other government vessel such as the AOPS and other offshore vessel.

With a good negotiation process, the Canadian government could obtain these two ships at a low price. They would replace the OOSV and one of the Medium Endurance Multi-Tasked Vessel that were to be built.

That would speed up the delivery process of some much needed ships. In addition, the non-combatant winner of the NSPS – Seaspan – would not lose out in such a scenario. I can see three main scenarios that could deliver more to every stakeholder:

First scenario: 

Once the OOSV is cancelled, the building of the JSS can start ahead of time (Scientific gear that was to go on the OOSV will be installed on the VS4220). Seaspan will be given the construction of the more profitable third optional JSS instead of the OOSV. Because of reasons I will explain further, the Navy actually needs four supply ships — the three JSS and the interim AOR (iAOR) in this scenario.

Two Diefenbaker-class Icebreakers would be built. In order to have these two icebreakers in due time, the building of the Diefenbaker’s sister ship could be awarded to the Davie Shipyard. The performance of both Seaspan and Davie could be effectively measured and help to set a competitive bidding process in order to build three Canadian-designed River-class Icebreakers that would be optimal to the taxpayers later on.

Davie is also proposing the conversion of a three-year old PC3 Icebreaker sitting idle in Seattle. That has the potential to be a great bargain to the taxpayers as well as prevent a capability gap. The replacement of our icebreaker fleet would be achieved with much added capability while the NSPS process would keep the course with no losers.

Second scenario:

Once the OOSV is cancelled, the building of the JSS still can start ahead of time. Davie would be given the building of a second interim AOR so the building of the first Diefenbaker-class Icebreaker could also start ahead of time. In this case, Seaspan would be given the contract to build two Diefenbaker class Icebreakers. Davie would also do the conversion of the PC3 Icebreaker sitting idle in Seattle to prevent a capability gap and to strengthen our nation’s Icebreaking capability. A contract involving a competition would also be awarded later to replace the three remaining River-class Icebreakers. (The River-class Icebreakers were commissioned between 1979 and 1987).

Third scenario: 

Still having replaced the OOSV and the first Medium Endurance Multi-Tasked Vessel with two VS4220 vessels from Davie, Seaspan would be more than compensated with the building of three JSS and two Diefenbaker-class Icebreakers. The GoC would negotiate Davie’s offer for the PC3 Icebreaker conversion and also the three River-class conversions that they earlier proposed. That would offer a significant deal to the Canadian public and compensate for the delays caused by the building of additional JSS and heavy Icebreaker. Let’s remember that the CCGS Terry Fox was a commercial Icebreaker before joining the CCG fleet. The nation will then possess a strong shipbuilding industry ready to compete on the international market for specialized ship conversion.

The main point of this text is about the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) portion of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. The program is to renew our surface combatant fleet with up to 15 vessels to replace the Iroquois class destroyers and the Halifax class frigates. It is understood that the program is more expensive than it was initially planned for and that the actual budget could only afford around eleven ships.

It is now under consideration to adopt a foreign design and to do a cost trade-off on the required capabilities.

I do believe that such a course of action is the wrong way to go. We are a major industrial nation with the largest coast line in the world. The CSC will be our flagship.

There is a solution that would allow us to reach a maximum effect with eleven ships with no or minimum compromise to the statement of requirement (SOR).

Last year, before I retired from the Canadian Armed Forces, I submitted a few initiatives under the defence renewal program. One of those was a fleet manning concept for the CSC.

The core idea of that solution is to separate the needs of the crew from the needs of the ships themselves. The end result looks like this: five Area Air Defence (CSC AAD) ships, five General Purpose (CSC GP) ships with all the necessary spares. One extra hull will allow for each ship to go on a two year extended maintenance period every ten years.

There will be twelve sea going crews and a shore maintenance team. It is organized so we can have four ships permanently deployed, four ships available for training, local exercises / patrol, short work periods and finally three ships on extended work period. This way of operating a class of ships will work with classes of ships of five or more ships. These ships also need to be designed so they could operate away from home port for a complete year.

That is also where the need for, at least, four JSS/iAOR comes from. Support ships multiply the effect of the surface fleet. We need to have at least one supply ship available on each coast at any given time. They will support the deployed CSC, do humanitarian relief mission, support the AOPS on northern patrol occasionally, etc.

To have fewer CSCs will free up the necessary personnel to man these two extra supply ships and also a class of around four corvette/light frigates, similar to the Dutch Holland class patrol ships with the addition of anti-submarine warfare capability. Those would be very affordable (around four of them for the price of a single CSC and would reposition gear from the Halifax class frigates such as the 57 mm gun, the close in weapon system (CIWS), the naval remote weapon system (NRWS) and other systems. These are excellent and up to date pieces of equipment; for example, the most advanced Dutch frigate are using the exact same guns that used to be installed on our Iroquois class destroyers in the 70s-80s after being refurbished. The proposed corvettes would also operate with a small crew. Such ship would patrol our coast, participate to Op Caribbe-type missions, conduct piracy patrols and support the CSC on some occasion.

As for the CSC, the use of AAD and CSC GP concepts would be ideal with the required number of hulls. I would see a ship of around 148-155 metres in length and around 20m breadth. Its displacement would probably be around 6000-7000 tons.

It would possess an integrated electric power plant consisting of two main diesel generators, a gas turbine generator and two small diesel generators for anchor or shore without power. That power plant allows for better fuel efficiency (only one generator supplying propulsion and hotel load at sea).

It allows for a great redundancy, for the disposal of the maintenance heavy controllable reversible pitch propeller (CRPP) and the disposal of the main gear box and gives extra power for eventual addition of energy-consuming technologies like a rail gun or laser CIWS. A possible option toward that power plant would be to use already designed parts of the QE class carrier an incorporate them to our hulls. I am thinking here of two of their 9MW diesel generators, one MT-30 gas turbine generator and two 20 MW electric motors.

For cruising, one diesel economically supplies hotel load and a speed above 15 kts along with a minimum range of 7000 nm. Two diesels will be used for fast cruising and close proximity maneuvering. The gas turbine will be used for sub hunting and fast man oeuvre while a diesel can be added to reach a maximum speed above 30 kts with a diesel to spare and the potential to later add some new energy consuming technologies. This would give a high level of redundancy.

They would carry a minimum of two multi-role boats (MRBs) and the flight deck will be able to land up to Chinook helicopter in order to support Special Forces operations.

We could afford the best weapons and sensors; 5 inch gun, two millennium guns, harpoon, evolved sea sparrow missile (ESSM), standard missile for the AAD and Tomahawk for GP version without forgetting torpedoes and the naval remote weapon system (NRWS).

I believe a 48 cell MK-41vls launcher could allow us to carry 32 ESSM and 40 SM missiles for the AAD version and 32 ESSM and a combination of Tomahawk and ASROC for the GP version. If savings are needed, the mix of weapon could be changed.

All CSC shall have full ASW capability with Cyclone helicopter, torpedo launchers, towed and hull sonars and possess the latest in torpedo counter-measures. I would suggest the I-mast 500 to be used on them ship since we participate in the development of the active phased array radar (APAR). The I-mast of the AAD version would be without the sea master 400 radar since it would utilize the SMART-L ER radar while the GP version would use the sea master 400 not using the SMART-L radar. The new upcoming SF500 radar could offer further possibilities.

The ships would possess an optimized crew around 200 strong.

OPV, Corvette or Light frigate

To balance the fleet and keep the NSPS going, a class of four smaller ships would be designed and built. They would be around 110m long 15m wide and displace about 3500 tons. They might share the same power plant as the AOPS or even a more economical plant aiming for a max speed between 21 and 24 kts. The use helicopter and two MRBs will compensate for the lower maximum speed. The I-mast 400 could be a good choice of sensors in this case. The crew would consist of a (65-75 strong) team with extra room for up to 20 and an extra 20 in austere conditions, in the same way as the CSC.

To conclude, the NSPS is essential in order to keep a modern government fleet at all time. It must enable us to replace every existing and to be built ships before it gets to its best before date. Every possibility to make it more affordable such as a new manning strategy for the CSC shall be taken. It must also quickly adapt to the changing economic situation and take advantage of passing occasions. A strong naval presence home and abroad is probably the best way for Canada to affirm itself on the world stage.

Still No Additional CAF Deployment to Iraq; As US Deploys 217 Special Forces and Apache Helicopters

Written by: Daniel Maillet, CAF Dispatch 
April 19, 2016, 8:00AM

Back on April 4, 2016, a report published by David Pugliese of The Ottawa Citizen noted that the additional 200 CAF members the Liberals announced in February to be deployed to OP IMPACT to fight ISIS in Northern Iraq had yet to be deployed. That is still the case as of today. Canada needs to quicken it's response times.

Within two weeks of the announcement of the withdraw of CF-18 Fighter jets, the RCAF had ended airstrikes against ISIS; and had sent 4 of the 6 CF-18's to Romania on bilateral training. Yet nearly three months after the announcement of 200 trainers to Norther Iraq to advise and assist Peshmerga forces, there has been no major movement. Canada's 69 Special Forces members are still alone; despite the announced deployment of Griffon Helicopters to help them move around the region.

Yet, today the United States announced it will immediately deploy 217 additional US Army Troops to Northern Iraq as well as send Apache helicopters to the region for the first time to continue its fight against ISIS, according to a US Defense official who spoke with The National Post.

Apache Helicopter Land at Camp Bastion Airfield, Afghanistan Photo: MOD 45153345
The US's announcement and deployment is intended to further help Iraqi and Kurdish forces retake Mosul and Raqqa from the hands of ISIS. It is expected that the majority, if not all the 217 will be special forces members. The additional troops will bring the US troop level in Iraq to around 4,087.

Canada does not lack the lift capacity to put our 200 additional forces on the ground, it would seem the country is just dragging it's feet on the additional deployment.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Liberals Reconsidering Participation in Missile Defense System

By: Lee Berthiaume, National Post

OTTAWA — The Liberal government has signaled its willingness to reopen one of the most contentious debates in recent Canadian military history: whether the country should participate in ballistic missile defense. And the results could be very different this time around.

An RCAF BOMARC-B being launched as a target drone at Vandenberg Air Force Base Launch Complex BOM1, California (USA), on 1 May 1977.  The BOMARC was Canada's last large guided missile defence system. The BOMARC program ended in 1972. Unknown to many today, a number of Canadian BOMARC's had Nuclear-warheads. 
The question of whether Canada should reconsider its decision not to join the United States in building a shield to protect North America from foreign-launched missiles has been raised as part of the government’s comprehensive defence review.

Earlier this month, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan released a document asking for public feedback on what the military should — and should not — be doing. One section focuses specifically on ballistic missile defense, noting that the issue “has not been considered by Canada for over a decade.

“Given the increase in the number of countries with access to ballistic missile technology and their potential to reach North America, this threat is expected to endure and grow more sophisticated in the coming decades,” reads the document.

It goes on to note that many of Canada’s partners and allies are working together on ballistic missile defense while Canada remains outside such efforts. This is a reference to not just the U.S., but also European NATO members, as well as Australia and South Korea.

“Should this decision be revisited given changing technologies and threats?” it asks. “Would a shift in policy in this area enhance Canadian national security and offer an avenue for greater continental co-operation? Or are there more effective areas in which to invest to better protect the North American continent?”

Missile defence has been largely off the public and political radar since then-prime minister Paul Martin famously opted not to join the U.S. program following a heated and extremely divisive national debate in 2005.

Martin’s decision was seen by many as an attempt to bolster his minority Liberal government. The NDP, and many Canadians, opposed missile defence, in part because of its links to the Bush administration. But there were also questions about whether such a system was even technically feasible — or needed.

The U.S. has since pressed ahead with missile defense, spending about $100 billion over the last decade to develop land- and sea-based systems that would stop a limited ballistic missile attack from a rogue state like North Korea or Iran. (They would not protect against an all-out attack by Russia or China.)

The programs, which have had mixed success in testing, have been developed in co-operation with NATO allies as well as Australia and South Korea.

Canada has provided the U.S. with aerospace warning information for North American missile defence under an agreement signed between the two countries in 2004. It has also publicly supported missile defence in Europe. But it has not had any direct participation in the programs — so far.

Prime minister Stephen Harper did quietly agree that ballistic missiles posed a threat to Canada and the U.S. by removing the word “European” from a NATO leaders’ statement on ballistic missiles in 2014. But otherwise his government did little to change Canada’s policy of non-engagement.

Supporters, including military officials, experts and the head of the Senate defence committee, are confident that the circumstances are now ripe for Canada to participate. And they’re hoping the inclusion of ballistic missile defence in the Liberal defence review is only the first step to Canada’s full enlistment.

Two years ago, Conservative and Liberal members of the Senate defence committee, including retired general Romeo Dallaire, unanimously called for Canada to join the U.S. in building a ballistic missile defence.

The committee largely accepted the warnings from defence officials about the risks to Canada from Iranian and North Korean ballistic missiles, the importance of being at the table when the Americans are discussing missile defence, and even the potential industrial benefits to Canadian companies.

“I think it’s overdue, and I think that debate should ensue,” the committee’s chairman, Conservative Sen. Daniel Lang, said in an interview. “Times have changed, and there’s not a lot of reason not to join.”

Briefing notes obtained by the Citizen show defence officials have also quietly set the stage by warning successive defence ministers, including Rob Nicholson, Jason Kenney and, most recently, Sajjan about the threat posed by ballistic missiles from rogue states and other actors.

Officials have also noted that many of Canada’s allies and partners — “including all of NATO — are now engaged in missile defence activities.” And they called the program “much more effective,” even though the system is still in heavy development and testing.

Thomas Karako, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, believes the U.S. would welcome Canada’s involvement. He also says there are several ways that Canada could contribute, such as hosting interceptors or even providing command-and-control capabilities.

But any move to reopen the issue is sure to prompt many of the same questions and arguments against Canadian participation as a decade ago.

Eugene Lang, who served as chief of staff to Liberal defence ministers Bill Graham and David Pratt when the Martin government was dealing with missile defence 10 years ago, and is now an adjunct professor at Queen’s University, said the question of whether Canadian participation is necessary remains front and centre.

“The Americans are going to build this,” he said. “And they may be right about North Korea. But why do we need to be part of it? That was never a question we got a good substantive answer to. And I still don’t think they have a good substantive answer.”

Arms control groups have also long warned that missile defence actually hurts international security by undermining nuclear deterrence. This is among the reasons that Russians have strongly opposed the positioning of U.S. anti-missile defence systems in Eastern Europe.

There is also the question of cost and whether Canada would be required pay into the multi-billion-dollar project. The defence budget is already thin, and Canada’s participation in another development project, the F-35 stealth fighter, caused major political headaches for the Conservatives.