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WOUNDED

 

Canada’s Military and the Legacy of Neglect

 

Our Disappearing Options for Defending the Nation Abroad and at Home

 

An Interim Report by the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence

 

September 2005


MEMBERSHIP

 

38th Parliament – 1st Session

 

STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE

 

The Honourable Colin Kenny, Chair

The Honourable J. Michael Forrestall, Vice-Chair

 

and

 

The Honourable Norman K. Atkins

The Honourable Tommy Banks

The Honourable Jane Cordy

The Honourable Joseph A. Day

The Honourable Michael A. Meighen

The Honourable Jim Munson

The Honourable Pierre Claude Nolin

 

*The Honourable Jack Austin P.C. (or the Honourable William Rompkey, P.C.)

*The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella (or the Honourable Terry Stratton)

 

*Ex Officio Members

 

Other Senators who participated during the 38th Parliament – 1st Session:

 

The Honourable Senators:

 

The Honourable Ione Christensen

The Honourable Anne C. Cools

The Honourable Percy Downe

The Honourable Rose-Marie Losier-Cool

The Honourable John Lynch-Staunton

The Honourable Terry M. Mercer

The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore

The Honourable Donald H. Oliver

The Honourable Gerard A. Phalen

The Honourable William Rompkey

The Honourable Peter A. Stollery

The Honourable David Tkachuk

The Honourable Marilyn Trenholme Counsell


MEMBERSHIP

 

37th Parliament – 3rd Session

 

STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE

 

The Honourable Colin Kenny, Chair

The Honourable J. Michael Forrestall, Vice-Chair

 

and

 

The Honourable Norman K. Atkins

The Honourable Tommy Banks

The Honourable Jane Cordy

The Honourable Joseph A. Day

The Honourable Michael A. Meighen

The Honourable Jim Munson

The Honourable David P. Smith, P.C.

 

*The Honourable Jack Austin P.C. (or the Honourable William Rompkey, P.C.)

*The Honourable John Lynch-Staunton (or the Honourable Noël A. Kinsella)

 

*Ex Officio Members


MEMBERSHIP

 

37th Parliament – 2nd Session

 

STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE

 

The Honourable Colin Kenny, Chair

The Honourable J. Michael Forrestall, Vice-Chair

 

and

 

The Honourable Norman K. Atkins

The Honourable Tommy Banks

The Honourable Jane Cordy

The Honourable Joseph A. Day

The Honourable Michael A. Meighen

The Honourable David P. Smith, P.C.

The Honourable John (Jack) Wiebe

 

*The Honourable Sharon Carstairs P.C. (or the Honourable Fernand Robichaud, P.C.)

*The Honourable John Lynch-Staunton (or the Honourable Noël A. Kinsella)

 

*Ex Officio Members


MEMBERSHIP

 

37th Parliament – 1st Session

 

STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE

 

The Honourable Colin Kenny, Chair

The Honourable J. Michael Forrestall, Vice-Chair

 

and

 

The Honourable Norman K. Atkins

The Honourable Tommy Banks

The Honourable Jane Cordy

The Honourable Joseph A. Day

The Honourable Laurier L. LaPierre

The Honourable Michael A. Meighen

The Honourable John (Jack) Wiebe

 

*The Honourable Sharon Carstairs P.C. (or the Honourable Fernand Robichaud, P.C.)

*The Honourable John Lynch-Staunton (or the Honourable Noël A. Kinsella)

 

*Ex Officio Members


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I: OVERVIEW

1. Cutting Through the Bulls---.

2. Military Readiness: A Means, Not an End

3. Why Canadians Need Their Armed Forces

4. Too Few Dollars

5. Too Few Personnel, Stretched Too Far

6. Running On Empty

7. How Did Defence Fall So Low in Canada’s Pecking Order?

8. New Threats at Hand.

9. Traditional Threats Persist

10. Off to a Slow Start

11. A Sound Enough Plan, but…

12. …It Lacks the Urgency Required

13. The Importance of Widening Our Approach: 3D/NC

14. The Need for a National Dialogue.

15. Hitting the Nail on the Head

 

PART II: THE STATE OF THE CANADIAN FORCES

I. The Canadian Army

II. The Canadian Navy

III. The Canadian Air Force

IV. Particular Armed Forces Capabilities

1.   Special Forces: JTF-2.

2. Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART)

3. Strategic Lift

4. Defence Intelligence.

5. Information Technology.

6. Maritime Security Operations Centres.

 

PART III: STRATEGIC CHALLENGES

1. Bureaucratization.

2. Political Influence.

3. Recruitment as Structural Challenge.

4. Recruitment and Retention – The Organizational   Challenge.

5.  Quality of Life.

6.  The Ponderous Pace of Procurement

7. Interference of Other Government Departments.

8. Communicating With Canadians.

 

 

APPENDIX I

Order of Reference.

 

APPENDIX II

Who the Committee Heard From

 

APPENDIX III

Detailed Comparison with Other Countries

 

APPENDIX IV

Historical Manning Levels

 

APPENDIX V

Current Canadian Forces Force Structure

 

APPENDIX VI

Current Manning Levels

 

APPENDIX VII

Department of National Defence Organization Chart
Canadian Forces Organization Chart
Future Organization Chart
Roles and Responsibilities of Senior Officials within the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces

 

APPENDIX VIII

Current Canadian Forces International Operations

 

APPENDIX IX

Truth to Power

 

APPENDIX X

Précis of Defence Policy Statement

 

APPENDIX XI

Glossary

 

APPENDIX XII

Biographies of Committee Members

 

APPENDIX XIII

Biographies of the Committee Secretariat


PART I: OVERVIEW

This is the first of three reports the Committee will publish during the Fall of 2005. This, the initial report, will attempt to measure the current capacity of Canada’s armed forces against their role: to protect Canadians and act in Canada’s national interests at home and abroad. A second report will put forward a list of proposed solutions to the vulnerabilities the Committee identifies here. A third and final report will take a look into the future and determine how Canadians can best shape their military to pursue our nation’s interests in the decades to come.

 

In short:

 

  • Report 1:  The Holes in Canada’s Armed Forces 

  • Report 2:  What It Will Take to Plug Those Holes

  • Report 3:  How Best to Shape Canada’s Military to Pursue the Interests of Our Children and Grandchildren

                                

 

Despite the Committee’s observations on the deficiencies that under-funding have brought to the Canadian Forces, the Committee recognizes that Canada does not have a rag-tag military. Far from it. We are lucky to have a first-class professional fighting force that has served Canadians extremely well. However, our armed forces personnel could serve Canadians even more professionally – and stand a better chance of remaining unharmed – if we would provide them with adequate resources to do so. This Committee’s role is to offer enough insights into the weaknesses that under-funding has caused the forces to convince Canadians – and their government –  that funding  them appropriately would be a wise investment in Canada’s future.

 

 

Why this report? After all, the Committee produced the report Canadian Security and Military Preparedness in February 2002, a report on defending North America (Defence of North America: A Canadian Responsibility) in September 2002, a report on the weaknesses in Canada’s armed forces (For an Extra 130 Bucks) in November 2002, a report on Canada’s coastal defences(Canada's Coastlines: The Longest Under-Defended Borders in the World) in  October 2003, and updated issues raised in all these reports with The Canadian Security Guide Book in December 2004.

 

 

Since then, however, the Committee has held hearings and town halls across the country and has listened to scores of new witnesses.[1] Their testimony has advanced our understanding of the issues. There are two other important motivators behind our reports this Fall. The first is that if parliamentary committees produce reports on issues of major importance to Canadians, then walk away from these issues, their reports invariably get shelved and declared out-of-date at the earliest opportunity available to those looking for an excuse to ignore them.

 

Secondly, and most importantly, while the federal government has made some commitments toward upgrading Canada’s armed forces, creating the politically-satisfying illusion of progress, the ugly truth behind the illusion is that the health of Canada’s military continues to deteriorate. So far, the government’s political solutions have not added up to anything close to a substantive solution. The headlines after last Spring’s budget speech said the government was going to fix Canada’s broken military, but too few parliamentarians, reporters and other analysts asked the key questions: (a) How? (b) When?

 

The answers were right there in front of them: (a) half-a-loaf repair jobs and (b) most of them ramping up five years from now.

 

This is too profoundly important an issue for Committee members to throw in the towel. If the government does not soon put the wheels in motion to rectify some of the biggest flaws in Canada’s defence capacity, Canadians will be forced to continue to gamble with huge risks, both to their personal security and economic well-being, and to the capability of their government to advance their general interests domestically and internationally.

 

This series of reports will focus on defence capacity – on Canada’s ability to produce, employ and sustain enough military force to achieve a defined success. The Committee acknowledges – and has indeed focused reports on – the importance and interconnectedness of the wider national security community. While individual agencies like the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Coast Guard do appear herein — the focus is on the Canadian Forces.

 

Military strength ­– at least in the Canadian context – isn’t about pushing people around. It’s about making sure that Canadians – and their values and interests – don’t get pushed around. By our enemies. By our friends. Or by anyone else looking for an easy mark.

 

The people, values and assets of any society worth living in are worth defending. There is no question that Canada is full of worthwhile people living eminently worthwhile lives. But we Canadians don’t seem to be aware enough of our vulnerabilities to man-made and natural disasters, both at home and abroad, to invest a reasonable amount of our public purse in the preservation of what we’ve got here. The abdication of this responsibility cannot serve Canadians well.

 

We simply cannot afford to gamble that everything is going to be okay for us, and those who come after us. A decade and a half of cuts to defence spending are going to produce at least a decade and a half of vulnerability. We’ve got to try to do something about that. Canadians deserve better.

 

 

1. Cutting Through the Bulls---.

 

A country’s sovereignty is founded on its ability to defend itself and to advance its vital interests outside its borders. Canada’s armed forces give Canadians a force of last resort to defend our sovereignty, and a presence to ensure that we are taken seriously on issues of importance to us. Effective national military force is the ultimate manifestation of a nation’s will to remain free, independent and prosperous.

 

One of the many myths that this Committee is constantly confronted with is that a country must decide upon the themes of its overall foreign policy before it can even start thinking about a defence policy. In fact, the reverse is true.  

 

Foreign policy can be changed on a dime. It only takes words to begin to adjust our relations with the rest of the world. But defence policy is wedded to capacity. Without the personnel and hardware, no words will change defence policy. Any major change takes years to implement.

 

Canada’s foreign policy, designed to advance Canada’s interests and to create a better world, can only realistically be as ambitious as Canada’s influence in the world. We cannot stimulate situations that will create more security for Canadians, better jobs for Canadians, more prosperity for Canadians, a better self-image for Canadians, if our ideas, warnings and encouragements fall on deaf ears.

 

Canada’s influence abroad depends to a large extent upon how Canada contributes toward solving the world’s problems. The No. 1 problem in the world is chaos and instability. World prosperity is not possible without world stability.  Instability is caused by a variety of forces that include poverty, unfairness, revenge, tyranny and the age-old thirst for power. It is the job of any mature, civilized state to protect its own borders first, then to offer genuine help in reducing these destabilizing forces.

 

Canada should mount enough military strength to protect its own borders, assist in the protection of North America, and – by focusing carefully on assignments within its grasp – assist in defusing international instability. This would represent a wise investment in Canada’s future. Instead, Canada is neglecting its military, neglecting its foreign aid program, and attempting to make its international mark mainly through the use of words – weak words when they are backed with so little substance.

 

Who is listening to Canada’s words? Influence is predicated on paying your international dues, and Canada is not.

 

Canada’s annual foreign aid budget is well under half of Lester B. Pearson’s realistic target of .7 per cent of GDP. Other countries are already meeting the .7 per cent target, or have committed to doing so.[2] Canada has not. Similarly, Canada’s military budget is bare-bones, at best (and skeletons don’t fight as well as the people with the muscles). The numbers that trace the spending decline follow later in this chapter. Without funded, progressive policies in place to rejuvenate Canada’s military and foreign aid programs, Canada will continue to be an ethereal country internationally.

 

We expect our enemies to be contemptuous of us. We don’t need contempt from our friends. Many Canadians complain that the United States ignores Canada’s rightful wants and needs. The U.S. won’t even live up to the terms of international treaties and agreements, most notably NAFTA. Of course, the United States should live up to its obligations without any pressures or inducements. But that’s a pipe dream.

 

The truth is that Canada is far more likely to get what it wants out of Washington if Canada stops counting on the myth of friendship to win the day. Not that Americans, or their leaders, are particularly unfriendly. Most of the world’s nations would love to replace their own neighbours with America. As annoying as Washington can be from time to time, compared to most nations we live in Mr. Rogers’ Neighbourhood.

 

But nations don’t have friends, they have interests. Friendship doesn’t count when American interests are on the line. Either you have something concrete to offer Americans, or their leaders aren’t much interested. At the moment ­– rightly or wrongly – the United States is trying to police the world. Washington looks at Ottawa as an extremely ungenerous place, given the resources that the Americans believe Canada could be investing in making the world a less volatile place. Canada doesn’t have to copy the Americans in their approach to world affairs. But it is going to have to invest in the world if it is going to win any battles in Washington. Our job is not to serve the United States. But we must be able to influence the United States if we are to act in Canada’s best interests.

 

These are important practical considerations. But the issue of military preparedness goes beyond the practical. There will never be a day when all the world’s problems can be solved by niceness. If well-intentioned societies disarm – or allow their armed forces to deteriorate – there are plenty of mean and muscular warlords willing to take the helm. Maintaining a respectable military capacity is certainly a practical imperative for any thinking Canadian wishing to protect his or her own society while maintaining an influential position in the world.

 

If Canada shirks its responsibility to defend itself and help defend North America, the United States will quickly step in and do it for us. In the eyes of the world, Canada would turn into a virtual protectorate, a pale replica of an independent state. Those who argue that Canada should demonstrate its independence from the United States by de-emphasizing military strength—or by refusing to enter into military agreements with Washington to help defend North America— are promoting Canadian dependence on the United States, not independence from it.

 

 

2. Military Readiness: A Means, Not an End

 

Canada can’t make the right kind of investments in its future if it doesn’t make the right kind of investments in its armed forces. Canadians need the capacity to defend themselves, their children, their jobs, their country’s sovereignty, all while contributing to a better world. They need to invest at a level that is in line with what other mature nations spend on these same important assets. We aren’t.

 

There are 32 million Canadians out there who need a military capable of serving their needs, particularly at desperate moments. These are moments that none of us like to think about, but they are the moments when actions, not words, carry the day. There is an expression “in the crunch.” A country either has what it takes to defend its citizens in the crunch, or it doesn’t.

 

Canada cannot afford to be passive in a very active world. There have been – and will always be – situations in which Canadian military personnel put their lives on the line because Canadians desperately need quick, effective non-verbal responses to immediate threats, at home or abroad.

 

The Canadian military has never flinched in responding to urgent calls for help. But in recent years it has been forced to stretch itself like a worn-out elastic to fill the enormous demands that have been placed on it. Nobody can depend on worn-out elastic for anything, particularly a nation’s political and economic survival.

 

 

3. Why Canadians Need Their Armed Forces

 

Canadians count on their armed forces as a tool of last resort to defend against direct attacks on ourselves and our allies, to defend our key economic interests and social values, to prevent the spread of terrorism, drug trafficking and other types of crime, to serve as a reliable ally to other countries that share our values and support us in time of need, to help create a fairer and more stable world, and to respond to natural disasters at home and abroad.

 

Sometimes we Canadians allow ourselves to forget about some of the roles Canada’s military has played in helping our country survive, prosper, and play a positive role in creating a fairer and more stable world.

 

Abroad: Intelligent states have always subscribed to one key tenet in terms of military strategy: it is best to fight wars as far away from the homeland as possible. The reasons are obvious. Wars are always devastating, always chaotic. Nobody wants chaos and devastation up close. Canada has managed to avoid that, although the new shape of warfare suggests that our day will come. During the 20th century, Canadian Forces were massively deployed in World War I and fought heroic and historic battles at places like Ypres, the Somme and Vimy Ridge. Canadian troops again distinguished themselves on European and Asian battlefields during World War II, while our Navy protected shipping and did battle on the Atlantic and the Air Force flew missions through skies filled with flak to help end the Axis occupation of Europe. There was to be little respite. Five years later Canadians were again risking their lives in the Korean War. The Canadian Forces spent 40 years participating in the defence of Western Europe against the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War. They took part in the first Gulf War after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. They participated in more than 30 United Nations peacekeeping missions, and several missions under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. During the first five years of the 21st century Canadians were part of the coalition that invaded Afghanistan and the follow-up NATO peace support missions there. Personnel have been sent to the Balkans, East Timor, Haiti, and various locations in Africa. Analysts will forever debate the rationale for, and efficacy of, every Canadian deployment over the years. But few of them argue that isolationism would have been a more logical or humane international strategy. Each of the forays mentioned resulted from the Canadian government’s assessment that it was in the interests of Canada, its allies, and humanity in general that Canada take part. Canada’s efforts overseas speeded our transformation from a humble colony to a proud nation. The Canadian Forces have served the world well in curbing tyranny and oppression around the globe.

 

At Home: During World War II, the Canadian Navy defendedour coastlines from submarines and surprise attacks while the Air Force trained about 130,000 allied pilots at Canadian bases. Through Canada’s participation in the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), Canadian forces helped protect North America from Soviet attack during the Cold War. NORAD’s role has now expanded to protect the continent’s air space from potential internal terrorist attacks as well as warn of external missile attacks. Canadian Forces also play a largely unspoken role on our southern border, simply by helping to define Canada as an independent, sovereign state. To many Canadians, it is important that Canada – which shares many of the values of its American neighbours – nonetheless offer a different political and cultural identity. Canadian military personnel have assisted their fellow citizens in fighting forest fires, controlling floods, rescuing people lost in the woods and at sea, digging out after snow and ice-storms, and in caring for injured people in a variety of difficult situations.

 

Worldwide Insurance Policy: By defending Canadians, overseas and at home, the Canadian Armed Forces offer protection under what amounts to a global insurance policy. When things go very wrong for Canada, the country’s military is our ace in the hole. Like any insurance policy, however, you get what you pay for. In this case there is no need to read the fine print to know that, after nearly two decades of neglect, there are limits to what the Canadian Armed Forces are going to be able to do for us in any given crunch. To a degree, that makes sense. There are bound to be limits on the paybacks on investments in security. But how much are Canadians willing to gamble that we can survive and prosper with a jury-rigged approach to defence? So far, we’ve been lucky. But one question always lurks in the background: What are the chances that the coin will keep coming up heads?

 

 

4. Too Few Dollars

 

Canada is spending too little on defence, and too little on foreign aid. Beyond the humanitarian relief that both armies and economic development projects can bring to the less fortunate in foreign lands, there is a selfish aspect to both. One allows us to go after the crocodiles; the other helps us drain the swamp of poverty and mistreatment that crocodiles breed in.

 

The Department of National Defence plans to spend approximately $14.3 billion in 2005-2006.[3] If the federal government had followed the November, 2002, recommendations of this Committee, made in the report “For an Extra 130 Bucks,” the current budget would be approximately $17.5 billion, and it would have spent $15.28 billion more on defence than it did between 2002-2005.

 

In fact our 2002 estimates were unrealistically low. The more we look, the more holes we see. What should Canada’s defence budget be today? Something in the order of $25-35 billion.

 

Moreover, the Committee’s 2002 recommendation was too narrowly envisaged. It focused solely on the required increase in spending on National Defence and it failed to address or even take note of the corresponding increase necessary in development assistance. It is only by addressing both of these components that Canada can defend itself and help create a better world.

 

In 2004-2005, defence spending accounted for 1 per cent of Canada’s GDP, roughly $420 per capita, and foreign aid spending accounted for 0.19 per cent of Canada’s GDP, roughly $65 per capita.[4]

 

Neither is sufficient. The government’s commitment in its International Policy Statement to invest in Triple D – defence, diplomacy and development – are good words but they aren’t backed up with dollars. You don’t have to be Bono to recognize that we’re faking it.

 

In 1990-1991, defence spending represented 1.6 per cent of GDP. As a percentage of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the measure of our annual economic output – defence spending has fallen a precipitous 62.5 per cent over the past 15 years.[5]

 

Our per-capita spending on defence and foreign aid pales in comparison to many other developed countries. The $420 per capita Canada spent on defence in 2004 is far short of what either the United Kingdom (approximately $988 per capita), the Netherlands (approximately $793 per capita) or Australia (approximately $844 per capita) spent (see Appendix III for a more detailed comparison with other countries).[6]

 

And while Canada has committed to increasing its foreign aid spending over the next decade, it has not joined the United Kingdom and many other countries in Europe in committing to that Pearsonian goal of 0.7 per cent of GDP.[7]

 

While Canada is clearly much closer to the bull’s eye on international terrorists’ target than most smaller countries, Canada ranks just 128th out of 165 countries in defence spending as a percentage of GDP.[8]

 

In 2004, Canadians spent an estimated $16.1 billion on alcoholic beverages, in comparison to the $14.1 billion they spent on their armed forces.[9]  While beer and wine may help Canadians forget that they are inadequately protected, we risk a sober and somber awakening by continuing to let our defences down.

 

Military expenditures, of course, are not the only indicator of military effectiveness. But they are a significant indicator, and in later chapters in this report the Committee intends to document several areas in which short-sighted parsimony has translated into visible holes in Canada’s military.

 

Of course there are countries in this world that spend what many Canadians would consider to be too high a percentage of their GDP on defense. But Canada most certainly isn’t one of them. Anyone who argues that Canada should set an example by beating its modest arsenal of swords into plowshares and thereby absent itself from international conflict is not just naïve – they undermine Canadians’ ability to survive as a nation and Canada’s obligation to contribute to a more just and stable world.

 

 

5. Too Few Personnel, Stretched Too Far

 

The full, authorized strength of the Canadian Forces – that number of personnel that the government has budgeted for is 62,181[10]. This compares to its full authorized strength of 93,353 in 1965 and 114,164 in 1970.

 

The number of trained and effective personnel, at last count, was 51,704.[11] This number is lower than 62,000 because personnel go on training courses, injury leave, sick leave, maternity leave, parental leave, take holidays, and are automatically give time off when they return from an overseas assignment. Sick leave associated with burnout has been an increasing problem within the armed forces in recent years, as, until recently, the tempo of assignments has been so overwhelming in relation to resources available.

 

Having slightly fewer than 52,000 trained, effective and available personnel, of course, does not mean they are all earmarked to be deployed on missions. Approximately half that number are tied up in everyday administrative, training and other support activities.

 

Of the half eligible for deployment, there is no way to keep all of them in the field at any given time. For every unit on mission there are approximately three in some stage of preparation.

 

In our report Canadian Security and Military Preparedness (February, 2002), the Committee recommended that if the Canadian Forces were to continue to be tasked at the level they had been over the previous eight years, they would require a trained, effective strength of 75,000 to do what was asked of them in a sustainable way. That would require a full, authorized strength of approximately 90,000.

 

It is the Committee’s position that the Canadian Forces are operating at a personnel level approximately 40-45 per cent below what they require to perform the types of duties they have been ordered to perform over the past decade.

 

One might be tempted to ask, so what? If the Canadian Forces have completed the missions assigned to them over the past decade, do we really have a problem? We do. The impact that accomplishing those missions has had on the Forces and their personnel had been profound. In Part II of this report, the Committee will go through each service and chronicle the burnout, the critically under-manned trades, the reduction in training capacity and the deterioration ships, aircraft and equipment.

 

The government finally recognized that Canada’s military engine was badly overheated in 2004 and called an operational pause on overseas deployments – an admission that the Forces were succeeding only at the cost of their long-term sustainability.

That was a signal to the Committee that the government was beginning to understand the scope and seriousness of the problems facing the Forces. Our optimism was short-lived – the government’s 2005 budget fell well short of coming to grips with those problems. It won’t be long until the pace of deployment picks up again, and the budget did not commit to the kind of funding that is going to be needed to sustain the kind of military that Canadians need to protect themselves and their interests in a very volatile world.

This back-loaded budget simply does not commit the money needed to meet the ambitious objectives laid out in this year’s International Policy Statement. There might be enough money there to sustain a military if it were to remain in permanent deployment pause, but that would represent a huge waste of resources, and Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier’s told the Committee that he has no reason to believe that the government will be less demanding on the Canadian Forces in the decade years than it has been in the last decade.

The budget promise to expand the Forces by 5,000 Regulars and 3,000 Reserves, and to infuse the Department of National Defence’s budget with $12.8 billion over the next 5 years may have sounded good to people unfamiliar with the scope of the deterioration that has set into to the Canadian Forces, but any thoughtful analysis of what needs to be done would demonstrate that this is a half-measure at best. The Canadian Forces are badly in need of renovation. The budget gave them a paint job.

 

The Chairman: It appears to us that, over the past 10 years, we have been on continual surge and that the price we will have to pay over the next 10 years to get back from it will be extraordinary.

 

Gen. Hillier: I agree entirely.”[12]

 

 

6. Running On Empty

 

If the Canadian Armed Forces had been granted a respite during the 1990s, an argument might be made to support all the cost-cutting that went on. Instead, the Government of Canada saw fit to deploy the Canadian forces to all kinds of emergency situations within Canada at a time when foreign deployments were leaving the country at a more ferocious pace than at any time since the Korean War. Rwanda. Bosnia. Somalia. East Timor. Kosovo. Eritrea. Haiti. Afghanistan.

 

Few of these missions bore much resemblance to Canadians’ concept of “peacekeeping.” In the 1950s Canada’s Lester B. Pearson conceived of peacekeepers as impartial international military forces, lightly armed for self-defence, deployed between two sides who had agreed to cease hostilities and who had agreed to the presence of peacekeepers to stand between them.[13]

 

That concept worked in Cyprus, but by the 1990s it was a thing of the past. It had quickly become difficult to find two sides willing to call a truce and allow outsiders to supervise the truce. Operations had instead begun to depend on fighting forces who often find that they have to engage in combat in order to try to impose a ceasefire and/or deliver humanitarian aid. These were not easy assignments. Canadian troops took nearly 200 casualties on overseas missions between 1994 and 2004.[14]

 

Despite the fact that studies have shown that Canadians continue to believe in the myth of the Canadian Forces as international peacekeepers, whenever our troops have gone overseas they have nearly always served in dangerous combat situations, But the myth of the gentle warriors persists, and it is probably the reason that when the government promised an additional 5,000 personnel during the last election campaign, it took pains to insist that the new personnel would be designated as peacekeepers. Canadians need to wake up to the fact that the young men and women they send overseas are far more likely to find themselves fighting than  standing between two pacified groups with smiles on their faces. Fighting requires the right training and the right equipment if a person is going to survive. Sooner or later, an underfunded military is going to put the lives of young Canadians in jeopardy. It is inevitable. They will be going up against people willing to go to any end to annihilate them, and they need all the help they can get.

 

In recent years we have too often let them down by sending them with too little to do too much. A cycle of burnout began to pervade the Canadian military. So many personnel were deployed at home and abroad in recent years that there were very few people left to train new personnel and retrain veterans. Equipment deteriorated, soldiers suffered, their families unraveled and key personnel began to leave in droves.

 

 

7.   How Did Defence Fall So Low in Canada’s Pecking Order?

 

The primary duty of any national government is to do its best to ensure the security of its citizens. Maintaining a capable military is one of the most important ways it can do that. Without a capable military, no government can confidently assure the sovereignty of the state, nor defend against those who would attack its people and undermine its society.

 

So how did Canada’s armed forces end up suffering from neglect during the 1990s and the early part of this decade?

 

It isn’t that the government accepted the “peace dividend” argument that military strength was irrelevant in the wake of the demise of the Soviet Union. In 1993 the newly-elected government of the day recognized that there were still serious problems out there. The Government White Paper on Defence, published in 1994, recognized that “Canada faces an unpredictable and fragmented world, one in which conflict, repression and upheaval exists alongside peace, democracy and relative prosperity.”[15]

 

But that same year, the decline in defence spending began in earnest. The government was well into its fight to eliminate deficit spending, which it believed was threatening to leave Canada an economic loser in international financial circles. This initiative, as painful as it was, had widespread public and international support. A Wall Street Journal editorial had pointed to Canada’s large budgetary deficit and suggested that its northern neighbour was in danger of becoming a Third World country.[16] That editorial became a rallying cry, and the government through Departmental Program Review cracked down on its spending across the board in a way that no post-war government had ever dared attempt.

 

The Department of National Defence was hit hard for three reasons.

 

First, while government and outside analysts realized that old threats to Canada persisted and new ones might well be in the works, professional and institutional judgment lost out to public opinion. Canadians relaxed when the Cold War ended. Most of us bought into the peace dividend mentality. Feeling secure, we turned our attention to other items on the political agenda.

 

Second, the fact that the defence budget is inadequate doesn’t mean it isn’t large in relation to those of other government departments. It represents the government’s single largest discretionary expenditure.[17] There are larger non-discretionary expenditures, but they are virtually locked in budget items (such as contributions to the Canada Pension Plan) and can’t be altered in a significant way without changing legislation. Defence was a sitting duck.

 

Third, the government treated the Department of National Defence like any other department. No consideration was given to the fact that the majority of the human components of this department are not bureaucrats sitting at desks, but young men and women likely to be put in life-and-death situations at some point during their tenure. Surely that’s a fundamental difference, but it has been dismissed with a shrug.

 

No other department is saddled with the responsibility of purchasing the kind of sophisticated equipment that personnel need to protect themselves and do their jobs. The Canadian Armed Forces purchases pencil-sharpeners and photocopiers and fax machines like any other department, but it also requires sophisticated hardware and systems. If these are not appropriate to their mission, or they are not fully functional, it can mean disaster on the battlefield. Military purchasers can set priorities for purchases of such hardware and systems, and they can choose wisely and prudently in the arms marketplace. But a 20 per cent cut in the purchasing power of the Department of National Defence may well have far more drastic – and even lethal – consequences than a 20 per cent cut in departments like Industry Canada or Heritage Canada. That is especially true when there is no corresponding decrease in the tempo of military missions assigned.

 

As Rear Admiral McNeil testified, 

 

“The issue is applying bureaucratic, administrative rules, through Treasury Board essentially, that apply to the rest of the federal structure to military operations and simply calling the Canadian Forces another part of the federal system. I would argue for the uniqueness of military operations . . . Military operations are dangerous and different from other operations in government . . . let us treat our fine people in the Canadian Forces who face unlimited liability a little differently. That would be a huge cultural change for Canada.”[18]

 

 

 

8.  New Threats at Hand

 

A strong Canadian military capability is not an end in itself. It can only be justified if an intelligent appraisal of geopolitical, social, and environmental trends points to threats or uncertainties requiring an increase in Canadian capacity to

 

(a) defend ourselves and our way of life

 

(b) help maintain world order.

 

Unfortunately, this is an area in which very little public debate is encouraged, so Canadians tend to assume that their government has a handle on whatever threats are out there. Why wouldn’t it, when the first duty of any government is to protect its citizens?

 

So these two questions are largely left to the government to assess:

  • What threats currently confront Canadians, or are likely to confront us over the next few decades?

  • Are we capable of defending against these threats, within the parameters of the investment we’ve made in managing risk?

 

After the Cold War ended finally consigning the primary conflicts of the past century to history, Canadians made the assumption that we could get away with a cheap insurance policy, and the Government – determined to cut costs at all costs – was happy to oblige them.

 

We didn’t understand the emerging chaos.

 

Nobody paid much attention to some important signals that should have telegraphed the emergence of a new wave of non-state extremism:

the 1985 Air India bombings, state failure in Somalia, religious and ethnic conflict Yugoslavia, the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, genocide in Rwanda, the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in the United States, the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa, and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. These looked like other people’s problems. It turned out that that they were ours, too.

 

9/11 Brought it Home

 

It wasn’t until September 11, 2001 that North Americans got the unthinkable news that our continent was no longer an invulnerable fortress. Not only did it become apparent that there was a huge new risk at hand, now that risk was too close for comfort.

 

Not only was the threat close by, it was qualitatively different from the traditional confrontation of massive armed forces. Those were the days of “force on force” battles. This new threat was asymmetrical – it could come at us anywhere, any time. Terrorist groups could operate beyond the authority of any established state or government. Furthermore, as demonstrated by the London bombings of July 2005, terrorist cells could operate beyond the guidance or authority of any given terrorist organization. A simple mix of ideology (free), bitterness (free), and chemicals available at local garden shops (inexpensive) could explode in our faces when it was least expected, and where it was least expected.

 

Canada is Not Exempt

 

Despite the increasing complacency of most Canadians as the memory of 9/11 slips to the back of our minds, there is every likelihood that an attack will eventually occur on Canadian soil.

 

The large number of failed and failing states around the world, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, has created fertile conditions for hostility toward prosperous societies and western values. Places like the United States, Indonesia, Spain, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the Philippines and Britain have already been hit. Canada has an unenviable place on Osama Bin Laden’s infamous list of countries to be targeted. We may get lucky. But it’s not a bet you’d want to make.

 

 

 

9.  Traditional Threats Persist

 

Non-state violence may have entered the room in a big way, but traditional state-on-state conflict never left. Nuclear proliferation has continued in countries like India and Pakistan, with poorer states like North Korea and Iran lurking in the wings. While the components of the former Soviet Union posed less of a risk, other states have begun to pick up the pace economically, which has historically led to the emergence of a new set of conflicting interests. In the first decade of the new century, the world has watched China’s economic growth with amazement, but the world should also be keeping an eye on China’s rising military expenditures and its growing regional and global influence.

 

Western democracies obviously face threats on the terrorist front; they may also face more traditional threats down the road from states flexing their muscles for the first time. On top of these military threats, unpredictable weather conditions produced by global warming make the type of natural disaster crises Canada’s armed forces have assisted with in the past even more likely to occur in the future.

 

In short, while some of Canadians’ apprehensions may have subsided in the four years since 9/11, there are enough existing or potential threats out there to remain alert. The question is not so much whether Canada should invest in being better prepared, as how it should invest.

 

 

 

10.  Off to a Slow Start

 

Committed to ending budgetary deficits and comforted by an electorate lulled into a sense of false security as the new century opened, the federal government was in no hurry to address the deep-seated problems within the Canadian military.

 

Only after the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans’ Affairs put the problem of military poverty on the front pages of Canada’s newspapers did the government finally address the disgrace that some Canadian Forces personnel and their families were starting to go to food banks to make ends meet.

 

The government eventually fixed that problem. But deeper weaknesses related to shortage of personnel, deteriorating equipment, lack of training and over-deployment persisted.  Again, it was only after these issues were brought to the public’s attention through studies by Parliamentary committees, the Auditor General of Canada, and academic and non-governmental organizations that politicians felt enough pressure to address the situation.

 

But its response came up short. Of the $12.8 billion of new money it set aside for the Canadian forces over five years, only $1.1 billion was budgeted for the first two years, with very little of the money coming on tap until 2008-2009. It was an old political maneuver – announce big, dribble out the funds later. It may have done the trick politically, but it was a sad way to treat an important institution that had fallen into such dire straits.

 

The announcement that the Canadian Forces would be expanded may have sounded good to most Canadians, but no serious military analyst believes that such a small increase is likely to save the forces from their cycle of unsustainability. Promising purchases of new equipment also had a nice ring to it, but waiting another three or four or even five years for it to be ordered will mean Canada will still lack capabilities in critical areas until the end of the decade.

 

The  acknowledges that there is going to be no quick fix for Canada’s military, but at least we could get off to a quick start, which would mean getting there sooner. So far, the government hasn’t done much more than put its toe in the water.

 

 

 

11.  A Sound Enough Plan, but…

 

Following closely on the heels of the government’s 2005 Budget was its International Policy Statement, the Defence portion of which outlined a new Canadian defence policy.

 

The Committee supports the basic principles of the Defence statement. For the first time in a long time the Canadian Forces have a realistic vision to embrace. The Government, the Minister, and the Chief of the Defence Staff deserve support in pursuing that vision.

 

There is only one problem. We have seen no indication that the Canadian Forces will be provided with the people or the resources to come anywhere close to realizing that vision.

 

One only needs to read the Budget speech to understand that, on the government’s list of priorities, military rejuvenation is almost an afterthought.

 

So the problem is not with the paper itself, but with the lack of government commitment to put the resources in place to make the paper work. In short, General Rick Hillier can’t get there from here. There is not enough baseline funding in place to repair the foundation of the Canadian Forces, let alone build something impressive on top of that foundation.

 

History should act as a warning to Canadians. The 1994 White Paper on Defence was also a very useful policy paper, but the government abandoned any efforts to achieve its ends soon after it was written. If there is one thing to be learned from that 1994 exercise, it is that words are meaningless unless there are dollars behind them. Let us be blunt: General Rick Hillier will not be able to get where he wants to go with an effective force of only 56,000 in 2010. General Hillier appears to be a very thoughtful and forceful man. This doesn’t make him an alchemist.

 

 

 

12. …It Lacks the Urgency Required

 

There are people – especially senior leaders in the Canadian Forces – who argue that the Canadian Forces are almost lucky that the government didn’t allot it more immediate funding in the 2005 budget, because the Forces do not have the personnel and infrastructure in place to address many of their problems for at least another couple of years.

 

That’s what the government wants to hear, but the Committee has visited enough bases in Canada and talked to enough personnel to come to the conclusion that a lot more could be done more quickly than is planned if the federal government would just quit ...dragging ... its...heels.

 

Top military brass appearing before the Committee justified the government’s budgetary back loading, maintaining that the Canadian Forces will not have developed the capacity to absorb large numbers of recruits under years four and five.[19]

 

That’s the Ottawa headquarters line.

 

Committee members often find that when we visit military bases outside Ottawa, both commanders and personnel are more candid about what they need, and what they can and cannot do. Lieutenant-Colonel René Melançon, Commander of the Infantry School at CFB Gagetown, told the Committee essentially that provided he got more resources and was allowed to improvise how he conducted his training he could accommodate a greater number of recruits. As Lieutenant-Colonel Melançon said, “There is no problem; there are only solutions.”[20]

 

It may be true that it would be difficult for the military to ramp up all kinds of training for new recruits over a short period of time. It might even have to go outside the military for some technical training for new recruits, at least for a while. But the line that we have to go slow because we’re incapable of moving more quickly just doesn’t make sense. We can’t keep gambling that Canadians won’t be damaged by this lethargy, because they could be. If we had taken this long to ramp up for the Second World War, it would have been nearly over before we got there.

 

 

 

13. The Importance of Widening Our Approach: 3D/NC

 

When it comes to defence, we Canadians need to widen our vision. We need to take it beyond the military vision laid out in the Defence portion of the International Policy Statement.

 

It is the Committee’s hope that the three reports we are publishing this Fall will stimulate public debate and motivate Canadians to think beyond the government’s vision. That vision gets us off to a good start – it commits Canada to integrating the three Ds  – defence, diplomacy and development – and pursing a 3D approach to helping out in failed and failing states.  But if this concept is going to have any chance of actually turning things around in any of these states, it is going to have to be expanded into what we call 3D/NC: Defence, Diplomacy, Development and National Commitment.

 

Without the critical element of a genuine commitment from Canadians, no government is going to have the will to sustain the efforts of Canadians overseas that are going to have to be there for the long haul to help get these countries up and running.

 

Making things work in these countries will require generous infusions of military, diplomatic and development tools (including engineering, judicial reform, alternate agriculture, urban infrastructure, water technology, and so on). Even if we pick our spots wisely, this is going to mean sizeable infusions of Canadian taxpayers’ money over many years. Unless the public is behind that kind of effort, it will die the first time a budget needs to be cut.

 

The Americans abandoned Afghanistan as soon as the Soviets were driven out. They are paying for it now, and so are we. Military victories aren’t enough, and Canadians need to come to grips with that reality and take a broader approach to what “winning” means in foreign countries.

 

 

 

14. The Need for a National Dialogue

 

Given that any society worth living in is worth defending, in any intelligent society, there should be a pact between the government, the military and the people. The government should do its utmost to provide citizens with a clear understanding of what is needed for the nation to defend itself and help contribute to international stability, and it should articulate the importance of using military strength and thoughtful foreign aid as important tools in advancing Canada’s interests at home and abroad.

 

Military leaders have a duty to publicly deliver “truth to power” ­– that is to be forthright with legislators and Canadians about the capacity of the military at any given time to deliver a reasonable level of security to the people. And the people have an obligation to listen carefully, decide what measure of risk they are willing to take, and advise their legislators as to what level of self-defence and contribution toward world order is acceptable to them.

 

At present there is no national debate on this issue. Ottawa-based military commanders are generally less than forthright in public about what their needs really are, and Canadians for the most part are blissfully unaware that we have a problem. This does not bode well for Canada’s preparedness. The next crisis will come. It’s not if, it’s when, and we’re not even close to being ready.

 

 

 

15. Hitting the Nail on the Head

 

This report necessarily contains thousands of words on some of the problems the Canadian Forces are having doing their jobs for Canadians. During our many visits with members of the Canadian Forces, nowhere did we get as clear a précis of the needs of Canada’s military than we got toward the end of our Regina hearings in March 2005.  Senator Norm Atkins asked the Commanding Officers of three Reserve units what they need for their units.

“Senator Atkins: If you had one wish for something that you really need for your units, what would it be?

Lieutenant-Colonel Charlie Miller: More soldiers, sir.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Wainwright: The support of every Canadian out there . . .

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Rutherford: More equipment for my soldiers to train on.”[21]


  

PART II: THE STATE OF THE CANADIAN FORCES

 

 

II.I         – The Army

II.II        – The Navy

II.III      – The Air Force

II.IV      – Particular Capabilities

 

I. The Canadian Army

 

The Canadian Army is currently faced with a Triple Challenge:

 

(1) Preparing for Growth.

 

The Army is entering a phase of growth. Most of the 5,000 new regular personnel promised by the government over the next five years will be assigned to the army. After years of shrinking, the recruitment capacities must be rejuvenated. Individual, unit and formation-level training must be augmented.

 

(2) Transforming Itself.

 

The Army – like most major western armies – is in the midst of an evolution into a modern, combat capable, medium-weight force. This evolution will involve changing how it trains, equips itself and fights. According to the Department, it will result in the doubling of its capacity to undertake and sustain operations overseas while expanding its capacity to meet crises at home.

 

(3) Sustain Interim Effectiveness.

 

The first two challenges are not occurring in a vacuum. The Army must maintain itself as a muscular force in the here and now even as it is mending itself and evolving. The relative calm of the past 18 months (due to the government’s hiatus on deployments) will give way to significant commitments that will last into the foreseeable future. Already, the government’s commitment to the international mission in Afghanistan and the need to increase domestic preparedness in the face of the clear threat of terrorist strikes promises the Army will be occupied.

 

What compounds these challenges is the persistent factors plaguing the army caused by chronic under-manning, under-equipping and under-funding. They are:

  • lack of trained personnel;

  • high personnel tempo;

  • outdated equipment;

  • ineffective recruiting;

  • inadequate training capacity;

  • decaying infrastructure; and

  • a reserve structure that can’t be counted on in the crunch.

 

Meeting these three challenges is going to demand a great deal of energy, vision, and money. This section of the report will attempt to outline the scope of the problems facing the Army over the next decade, and remind Canadians that this institution – so essential to their well-being – can’t possibly come through for them if the government continues to squeeze its funding. While commanders are unduly wary about saying so in public, they are candid about their deficiencies when presenting their Impact Assessments to the Chief of the Defence Staff:

 

“As we enter [Fiscal Year] 2005-2006, Land Force Command will be severely challenged to accomplish its assigned missions successfully while catering for the need to prevent institutional erosion and to support the transformational activities required to remain relevant to the evolving security environment . . . Resource flexibility has been exhausted with the steps taken to date in pursuing the change agenda.”

 

                                       Lieutenant-General Marc Caron

                             Chief of the Land Staff[22]

 

COMMITTEE’S TRANSLATION: The Army is facing a triple whammy. We are too underfunded to correct the weaknesses caused by past underfunding, we are too underfunded to meet our current responsibilities, and we are too underfunded to prepare for the massive changes you want that will allow us to serve Canadians in the future.

 

The Army’s imperative to maintain effective capacity in the present while simultaneously reinventing itself for the future would be onerous enough if all this were not happening in the context of more than a decade and a half of neglect. As Lieutenant-General Caron points out in his Impact Assessment (of 2005-2006 government funding for the Army):

 

“Unless new Departmental funding is provided, a significant portion of the funding for the Land Force Command Sustain Agenda will continue to be diverted to prosecute many of the Transformation initiatives. In fact, it is only by deliberately curtailing or under-resourcing activities that the Army has been able to prosecute the modest amount of transformation accomplished to date. The pace of change will continue to increase in the upcoming years while many of the current transformation projects are brought to fruition and new initiatives are being implemented. The additional investments required to prosecute those projects will be beyond the Chief of the Land Staff’s ability to resource.”[23]

 

COMMITTEE’S TRANSLATION: You expect your army to defend Canadians from current threats at home and abroad, while transforming itself into an institution capable of succeeding in theatres of modern warfare in the future, but you are not providing us with the money and resources we need to do that.We simply can’t do what you say you want us to do with the money you’re giving us.

 

Lieutenant-General Caron said the government’s funding allocation for the 2005-2006 fiscal year was $224.2 million short of what the Army required to fulfill its current role while preparing for its future role.[24]

 

The Committee believes that this is an extremely conservative estimate of the shortfall, especially considering the huge amounts of money that are required for infrastructure reinvestment given the deterioration of facilities.

 

Lieutenant-General Caron’s estimate would be low even if the armed forces were not going to grow beyond the modest increase that the government is currently committed to. The Committee believes that sooner or later it will be recognized that a far more substantial increase is in order. The government should be investing more money now in preparation for that eventuality.

 

The “Hollow” Army

 

Not only are most of the new recruits promised by the government not being enlisted until four or five years from now, the level of personnel currently available to commanders is considerably lower than it appears. According to this year’s Land Forces Impact Statement, the percentage of army personnel “left out of battle” – mainly because they are on either permanent or temporary medical leave – is approximately 15 per cent.[25] But that only tells half the story. Because individual support units tend to carry a lot of personnel undergoing on-the-job training, the level of usable personnel for some of these units has dipped below 70 per cent.[26] This, according to Lieutenant-General Caron, has led to “an ongoing situation that has come to be described as ‘the Hollow Army.’”[27]

 

The “Hollow” Army Will Only Get Hollower

 

At a time that Canadian Forces recruiters are having difficulty attracting new candidates, the Canadian Army is facing a potentially devastating exodus of capable personnel.

 

Like the rest of the Canadian Forces the Army is fighting demographics. During the next few years, many of the military and civilian personnel attached to the Army will be approaching retirement age.

 

Commander of 3 Area Support Group Gagetown Colonel Ryan Jestin’s description of the challenge facing his base is but one example of the possible scope of the problem. Jestin testified to the Committee that between now and 2011 upwards of 58 per cent of the army’s civilian work force at Gagetown will reach retirement age.[28]

 

Perhaps. It is not an insurmountable challenge but it is complicated and it is an Army-wide problem. As Brigadier-General Gaston Côté, the Commander of Land Forces Area Quebec testified, “My problem right now is that we have lots of people who are close to possible retirement age, should they elect to do so.”[29]

 

The anticipated loss of so many experienced military and civilian personnel would not normally be of any significant concern if there was a steady stream of trained replacements coming along behind them. However, given that Canadian Forces recruiting slowed to a trickle in the 1990s an age-experience gap was created that has produced a shortage of mid-level personnel. If the senior and more experienced military personnel who are eligible for retirement decide to leave, the level of experience of those replacing them will obviously be lower. There may also be an outright shortage in critical trades – although the Army is recruiting again, it is finding trades personnel scarce.

 

 

Personnel Tempo Stress: The Effect of Punching Above Our Weight

 

Past reports of our Committee have underlined the insidious cycle that has strained the Canadian Forces to the breaking point in recent years:

 

1.     Politicians under-fund Canada’s military

 

2.     Politicians commit Canada’s military to deployments beyond its capacity

 

3.     Canada’s military becomes desperate for trained personnel for each new assignment

 

4.     So many experienced personnel are required in the field that the few right personnel are left to train new recruits and others

 

5.     Trained personnel are deployed so often they suffer from burnout

 

6.     Politicians keep under-funding Canada’s military . . .

 

7.     Politicians keep committing Canada’s military . . .

 

One of the most intelligent decisions made by any federal government over the past two decades with regards to Canada’s military was the decision to cut back on deployments until February 2006 in an attempt to rejuvenate troops, equipment, systems and planning. We wish that it had stuck to the decision long enough to allow for the pause to have a real effect, instead of then recommitting the Forces to The Sudan and Afghanistan. Concerns remain that the burnout tempo of recent years is likely to recur.

Gagetown is home to the Canadian Army’s most important base for training in combat arms. Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Douglas, Commandant of the Artillery School in Gagetown, testified that:

“..Although attention always seems to focus on Canadian troops deployed outside of Canada, the instructors and soldiers of the artillery school continue to punch well above its weight to support the field force. Although we are currently manned at 95 per cent of our establishment, in fact the number of personnel available is far less. Our left out of battle rate is, on average, 15 per cent to 20 per cent due to paternity and maternity leave, permanent and temporary medical categories and career courses. This puts an enormous strain on the remainder of the personnel throughout the year.. … [30]

The Committee heard this type of story across Canada. Colonel Timothy J. Grant, Commander of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, in Edmonton, more or less said the same thing.[31]

 

A 20 per cent “missing” rate essentially means that this institution – already drastically short of the personnel it needs to fulfill its many mandates – is only running on three good wheels.

Lack of Qualified Technicians and Spare Parts

One of the crises facing the Canadian Army is its inability to maintain the equipment it does have. That inability has two root causes: a lack of qualified personnel to conduct repairs, plus a lack of spare parts for vehicles. This proved to be a consistent theme across the country.

One reason for the shortage of qualified technicians is the inadequacy in recruiting forced on the Armed Forces by funding shortfalls in the 1990s. But Lieutenant-General Caron also told the Committee that the frenetic tempo of missions assigned to the Armed Forces by the government until recently had taken its toll not just on those assigned to those missions, but on the availability of qualified technicians across the services:

“This high operational tempo [from the 1990s to 2003] and what we call the ‘personnel tempo’ – the time away from home for professional development or for tasking – has had an impact. The primary one is probably on attrition. Even though the attrition rate is improving, a few years back, and even last year, the combat arms attrition rate was higher than the Canadian Forces mean on attrition…people were leaving. That has had the greatest impact.”[32]

 

But an important secondary impact, said Lieutenant-General Caron, was that, because people with training capabilities were either off on a mission or had left the forces because of the high-pressure operating tempo, there was suddenly an Army-wide lack of qualified technicians:

 

“The reason that we have the gaps in the technical fields is that we do not have the people there yet. They have decided to leave or what have you, and it takes time to train them. [For example] A fire-control system technician can take over 18 months to train before he is usable on the LAV III.”[33]

Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Douglas, Commandant of the Artillery School at CFB Gagetown, said a paucity of both trained technicians and parts contributed to slow repairs and maintenance:

“…Our equipment is a constraint; vehicles in particular are problematic, with an average 27 per cent off-the-road rate. Awaiting labour accounts for 16 per cent while awaiting parts accounts for 11 per cent. This obviously causes some frustration to my soldiers and instructors who are constantly balancing our running fleet.”[34]

Colonel Christopher Davis, Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas’ boss and Commander of the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown, added:

“We have difficulties in two areas concerning our vehicles: the national procurement to buy spare parts is a dollars-related problem; and, we have a need for appropriately trained technicians to repair those vehicles. We have outstanding support for Gagetown, but we do not have enough technicians to meet the present demand and usage rates of our vehicles.”[35]

Lack of Equipment

 

TheArmy is short of some important equipment, such as modern night-fighting devices. While operational units have their full complement of the equipment they need, training schools are often short, which means personnel in the field may not be properly trained on the equipment they are using,

 

Colonel Christopher Davis, Commander of the Combat Training Centre at Gagetown, told us that he was having trouble training troops with the kind of night-fighting equipment they will need in the field:

 

“Night fighting equipment is clearly a problem … we had to take the night fighting equipment stock from the infantry school to outfit 2 RCR when they deployed to Haiti. Consequently, my night fighting training in many respects came to a halt on the dismounted level.”[36]

 

CFB Gagetown’s Infantry School has since had its night fighting equipment returned, but not until its training was disrupted. Proper training for upcoming deployments is too crucial to break down over missing equipment, especially the kind of equipment that can make a life-or-death difference.

The Army does have some world-class equipment. It just doesn’t have enough to meet all operational and training demands. So it juggles its resources, which works out to gambling with young lives.

The Army Reserves are particularly adept at working around problems posed by a shortage of equipment. As Lieutenant-Colonel Ron Trottier, Commanding Officer (CO) of the Windsor Regiment testified,

“There is not enough equipment for the Forces due to the financial constraints. … Our equipment is pooled. [Reconnaissance] equipment is pooled in Meaford, Ontario, which is about a six-hour drive away. We will draw the equipment from there, utilize it for that weekend, turn it back in, and the next weekend another unit will come. Many times there will be two and three units vying for the same equipment on the weekend of a larger exercise, and there are some problems with that, but generally, although there is not enough equipment for everybody to have their own, the pooling system does enable us to train our soldiers on it quite effectively… We do have good equipment; we just do not have everything because of the cost of trying to support everything that is out there.”[37]

The ability to do some training with equipment – but not all the training that a Commander would like – is not unique to CFB Gagetown or to Land Forces Central Area, and determining the adequacy of equipment often requires reading between the lines.

 

Brigadier-General Greg Young, Deputy Commander, Land Force Central Area, told us that he has “sufficient equipment” for the training he is told to do, but he could do more training if he had more equipment. He called it a matter of expectations management. A unit does not lack equipment if its training allotment is reduced to accommodate the amount of equipment available.

“Senator Meighen: You have enough equipment now for the people who are joining the reserves?

Brigadier-General Young: We do.

Senator Meighen: You have enough equipment now to go overseas?

Brigadier-General Young: Enough to train our soldiers to deploy with task forces that are properly equipped, yes.

Senator Meighen: Well, that is very good to hear.

The Chairman: Then what you are telling us is, when we are writing our report, you do not need any more equipment?

Brigadier-General Young: No, I am not saying that.

The Chairman: Well, we want to know what you are saying.

Senator Meighen: Before you answer, let me explain this is one of our difficulties. We hear that you do not have the highest-quality equipment possible. We hear you do not have enough equipment, but we have difficulty in getting you to say it. Surely it does not go against military doctrine for you to tell me that you could do with more equipment in order to provide better training?

Brigadier-General Young: I would agree with your last comment. The equipment that we have now is certainly limited. … It is limited in quantity.”[38]

Nobody should be mincing words on this issue – it is too critical to the effectiveness of Canada’s armed forces and to the safety of their personnel. The Canadian Forces are clearly short of the kind of equipment that is essential to their training and survival in the field. The difficulties raised above are the kind of issues that the Army hopes to sort out in its new program of Whole Fleet Management.

 


Whole Fleet Management

 

By the end of the 1990s and into the new century, the Army had reached an unsustainable operational tempo. Its people were burned out. Something had to be done. When the Government ordered an ‘operational pause’ from August 2004 to February 2006, the Army implemented a formalized Managed Readiness System, to take effect in February, 2006.

 

Managed readiness establishes a continuous three-year cycle of recovery, training and deployment that, according to the Department, will provide the Canadian government with a sustainable capacity to deploy up to two 1,000-person task forces and a brigade group headquarters.[39] In addition, managed readiness establishes the capability to deploy a third "surge task force'' for short duration emergency situations, while allowing the Army to continue to meet its commitments for such operations as disaster assistance response and non- combatant evacuation. A key element of managed readiness is the six-month recovery period immediately following a unit's deployment that serves to mitigate the effects of high operational tempo.

 

As units move through the system, they will be trained at specified, graduating levels. Army ‘whole fleet management’ pools major equipment supplies (such as combat vehicles). Units receive only the equipment they require at the time they require it, for the level of training they are conducting.

 

No longer will Army units have a full complement of major equipment all the time.

 

Could it be that whole fleet management is nothing more than making do with too little? Senator Banks had a frank discussion over this issue with Brigadier-General Côté, Commander of Land Forces Quebec Area: 

 

“Senator Banks:  … I have become convinced … that [whole fleet management] is a euphemism for making do and rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, if you like, with resources that are fewer than they ought to be.

I will give you an example. You explained a few minutes ago that two out of three of what are supposed to be light armoured infantry equipped units have the proper equipment, and the third one does not. They are walking around, and they are supposed to be a mechanized infantry. You said that is because those vehicles have been sent to [the Canadian Manoeuver Training Centre in] Alberta.

My look at that says this is just plain old short. We are asking people to do a job without sufficiently equipping them with what they need in order to do it. We are asking them to make up names, like “managed readiness,” and to say that things will be predictably deployable.

It is not as though the need for military action comes along in nice, neat, predictable increments, so that we can say, “Here is exactly what we will have to be doing six months from now.” There might be an earthquake, an ice storm, or someone might start shooting at us. You cannot predict those things.

Have I got this wrong? Is my cynicism ill-placed? Am I seeing a bogeyman under the bed that is not there, and this is all okay?

 

Brigadier-General Côté: I have seen the slippers of that man, sir…I think that is it. We have certainly had a resource problem. The transformation of the army is funded by the maintenance operations budget and not as a national project with adequate funding. To use a cliché, you could say that we have to cannibalize the so-called institutional army in order to be able to employ or prepare operational troops for deployment.”[40]

 

Lack of Training Infrastructure

 

Warfare is changing. Today’s conflicts are less likely to take place in set-piece battles on open fields and much more likely to take place in the heart of urban environments.

 

The Canadian Army, as a bevy of recent Army documents will tell you, are adapting to this new reality.

 

However, they lack some of the basic tools to do so. We are sending our troops into more and more urban centres. This requires a different type of training. But the army lacks an urban operations training facility, and Colonel Davis knows he needs one for his Combat Training Centre:

 

“I need dollars for a complex terrain training facility, an urban operations village that can handle up to a company's worth of infantry, armour, and artillery. A complex training facility would enable us to train and expose our soldiers and leaders to the urban environment which is the most prevalent and dangerous environment today.”[41]

 

Lieutenant-General Caron, Commander of the Army, told the Committee that financial pressures have forced the Army to take “risks” with infrastructure. According to Caron,

 

“We do take some risk on infrastructure. In order to manage the risk we have to know exactly what we have out there. It is always a balance, or a managing of the risk of the funds, between meeting the goals of the mission, and care of the real assets that we have such as the equipment, the people and so on.”

 

The Committee is of the opinion that risks can be deadly if inadequately prepared troops are sent to the field.

 

Crumbling Infrastructure

 

Over the past three years the Committee has visited nearly every major Army base in Canada. Whenever we visit we ask personnel and their families about the quality of their daily lives. One of the main sore spots is the dilapidated condition of infrastructure including permanent housing quarters, utilities, and training facilities.

 

According to Lieutenant-General Caron’s 2005-2006 impact assessment, “Land Forces Command’s institutional responsibility to fund infrastructure, and its historic inability to do so, have been acknowledged by the Department for many years.”[42]

 

In 2005-2006, the Army faces a shortfall of $100 million for repairs and recapitalization this year alone. According to Lieutenant-General Caron, 50 per cent of the Army’s infrastructure is over thirty years old and 5.4 per cent of it is designated a heritage property.[43] The Army will only meet 58% of the Department of National Defence’s benchmark for maintenance and repair, and 71% of the benchmark for construction this year.[44] As Lieutenant-General Caron notes, “[the shortfall] will be added to the backlog of Army infrastructure pressures.”[45]

 

When the Committee visited Saint John, New Brunswick, earlier this year, officers from CFB Gagetown – the Army’s principal base in Atlantic Canada – provided us with a good example of facilities in urgent need of repair. Colonel Ryan Jestin, the commanding officer at Gagetown, outlined an array of deficiencies. Some of these deficiencies will be addressed by a recent announcement of an infusion of $143.5 million to be spent on infrastructure at Gagetown, but Colonel Jestin’s testimony shows the huge scope of the infrastructure problems staring the Canadian Forces in the face:

 

“Base Gagetown was constructed during the 1950s. Historically, funding for recapitalization and maintenance projects has fallen below the target of 2 per cent of our realty replacement costs. Utilities . . . are provided to the majority of the base buildings by means of underground tunnels . . . these have been in place for 50 years and need upgrading . . . of particular concern is the need to replace the high temperature hot water lines which provide heat to most of the building . . . the total cost of the upgrades for all utilities will amount to about $50 million. From my perspective the largest single problem is the condition of the singles quarters which have deteriorated over the past 50 years of very heavy use . . . Funding for recapitalization and maintenance projects has fallen below the target of 2 per cent of our realty replacement costs. There is currently a proposal being discussed . . . which could see the funding for maintenance and recap increase to 6 per cent . . . If this does occur we will in the financial position to complete a significant amount of our outstanding and essential infrastructure improvements and to rejuvenate our aging infrastructure.”[46]

Colonel Jestin gave Senator Tommy Banks a bit of a shock when he connected dollars to deterioration:

Senator Banks: Colonel Jestin, you mentioned when you were talking about fixing up infrastructure, the concept of 4 per cent (sic!)_of replacement value. …Can you put a dollar figure on that?

Colonel Jestin: Sir, it is $1 billion in Gagetown.

Senator Banks: A billion?

Colonel Jestin: A billion.

Senator Banks: With a “B?”

Colonel Jestin: Yes, Senator. I need in the magnitude of about $60 million a year in order to keep the infrastructure as current as we would like it to be.

Senator Banks: How much do you get now?

Colonel Jestin: I think last year, Senator, I spent $24 million.

Senator Banks: So less than one-half?

Colonel Jestin: Yes, senator.

Senator Banks: So what is happening is that we are building up a great big contingent liability?

Col. Jestin: Yes, sir. That is exactly right.

The Chairman: In fairness, it strikes me that you are wasting a lot of time trying to figure out strategies to make do with what you have.

Colonel Jestin: Yes. It is similar to our equipment, sir. We are making great strides on keeping our equipment on the road as best we can and we are doing the same thing with the infrastructure.”

The problem of the Army’s deteriorating infrastructure is not confined to any one part of the country. As Brigadier-General Young, Deputy Commander, Land Force Central Area (LFCA) told the Committee, his region has significant infrastructure needs:

 

“Much of the infrastructure to support the reserves in Land Forces Central Area was constructed in the early 1900s, when the army was still riding horses and drill was an important part of battle tactics.

 

Armouries built in the 1950s and 1960s used the same basic design as the old armouries, but employed the construction standards of the day. Most of our armouries [with the exception of a new facility in Windsor] are inefficient from both an operating and training perspective.

 

The cost to bring these armouries to required standards for such things as barrier-free access and cabling systems to handle modern computer systems is extremely high.”[47]

 

Brigadier-General Young said LFCA has embarked on a reconstruction plan that is “innovative and cost-effective.”[48]

 

Despite Brigadier-General Young’s assurances that solutions are being found in Land Forces Central Area, the deterioration of the Army’s infrastructure nationwide is a chronic and growing problem.

 


The Army Reserves

 

In 2000, five years before the government announced that it would recruit 3,000 new members of the Reserves (most of them for the Army) the Army established the Land Force Reserve Restructure Project (LFRR). Its goal, enthusiastically supported by the government of the day, was to increase the Army Reserve to “at least” 18,500 by this fiscal year (2005/06).[49]

 

In April 2003, and again in November 2003 (two years before the successor government made its promise of an additional 3,000 Reservists to come), National Defence announced that the Phase One strength goal of 15,500 reserve troops had been achieved.[50] The announcement stated further that the army reserve would grow to 18,500 by 2006/07.[51] 

 

Everyone seemed to forget these announcements when the current government announced in the Spring of 2005 that the Army Reserve would increase by 3,000 more troops to a total of 18,500. This commitment had already been made two years earlier.

 

But, on September 1, 2005, the Department of National Defence reported that Army Reserve strength was really only 13,053, rather than the targeted 15,500 announced two years earlier.[52] Either more people have been leaving the Army Reserve over the past two years than have been recruited, or somebody’s numbers are (or were) off.  If the Reserves have been losing personnel, it doesn’t auger well, either for the 18,500 commitment in 2003 or the new 18,500 commitment in 2005.

 

A full review of Army Reserve issues is beyond the Committee’s capacity at this time. However, there were two issues we wanted to flag at this time.

 


Do the Reserves Provide Value for Money?

 

In attempting to assess the value of the Reserves the Committee focused on the provision of Reserve support to the Regular Force. We found that, in 2005, the Army Reserve provided on average between 10-15 per cent of the personnel deployed on overseas operations – somewhere in the range of 100-200 people at any one time.[53] At home in Canada, Reserve augmentation of the Regular Force has been more substantial.

 

Throughout 2005 the Army Reserve has sustained more than 2,500 Reservists on full-time duty.

When members of the Army Reserve go on active duty, they clearly serve as a valuable augmentation to Regular forces. The Committee repeatedly heard reports from commanders that Reserves routinely perform as well as Regulars when they join combat units. Sometimes their performances are extraordinary,

However, the Committee has two concerns about the Army Reserves:

 

  • How much can you count on the Reserves when you really need them, when there is no requirement for Reserves to join an operation on which they may be badly needed?

  • How much sense does it make to continue to base Reserve units in close proximity to one another, or on land that has a high commercial value?

 

Members are paid for service in the Reserves, but are under no obligation to fill a spot in the regular component of the Canadian Forces. Canadian Forces Commanders have expressed their concerns to us over the lack of availability of the Army Reserve available on short notice, when emergencies arise.[54]

 

This has not been the case to date.[55] Thousands of Reservists volunteered during the 1996 Saguenay Floods, the 1997 Manitoba Floods, the 1998 Ice and in preparation for Y2K at the end of 1999.

Nonetheless, the concern remains. Colonel Jim Ellis, 2nd in Command, Operation Peregrine (the deployment to combat forest fires near Kelowna B.C. in August and September 2003) described his concern:

Senator Day: Colonel Ellis, you were a bit lucky on this because you had a group of reservists who were about to go to Wainwright in August, so they were on standby. If that had not happened, would you have been able to find 500 reservists to 800 reservists?

Colonel Ellis: I think we had 870 reservists at the end of it from all across Western Canada. You are right. If it was in the middle of the school year or at any time other than July or August, I am sure we would not have gotten the same number. It is just the fact that, as I said, with no protection for jobs, many of these men and women are in university and high school, and it is very difficult for them to come out.”[56]

Here, There and Everywhere

The disposition of Army Reserve facilities across Canada is costly and inefficient. Some Reserve units are based in antiquated armouries, on prime real estate vacant a good deal of the time, and some of which are so close to one another that two facilities could be combined.

There might be sound demographic rationales for the location of Reserve facilities, and where they are located and how they are configured should be sorted out on a case-by-case basis.

The Committee was impressed with Reserve facilities recently built in Windsor, Ontario, with a cost-share and space-share arrangement with other interests in the local community. In a note to the Department of National Defence, we asked whether it might be possible in some cases to sell off outdated armouries and adopt the Windsor Model. According to a response from the Department, the senior CF leadership acknowledges this issue and is examining it.[57]

 


II. The Canadian Navy

 

The Canadian Navy prides itself on being a world class maritime force – “the world’s best small navy,” in its own words. A more precise description might be “The world’s best small, underfunded navy whose ships all have flaws of some kind.”

 

In the coming years, the Government of Canada will have to address a growing bill for the refit of some major platforms, the replacement of others and the purchase of new capabilities. It will be a large bill.

 

Three inter-twined deficiencies increase the difficulty of the challenges faced by the Navy. The Navy is short of:

 

1.     Trained personnel to crew the fleet;

 

2.     The funds necessary to supply its fleet with all the parts it needs;

 

3.     The capacity – either its own or in industry – to maintain its fleet in accordance with its maintenance  policy The funds necessary to supply its fleet properly or do all the repairs that should be done to ships and infrastructure.

 

To quote the Chief of the Maritime Staff Vice-Admiral Bruce MacLean:

 

“The challenge for this year and those to come will be to determine an affordable strategic outlook for Canada’s Navy transformation. I am faced with a growing demand…but must execute my tasks and missions well below a measured reference level. Not only the paucity of funds, but [shortages of] expert personnel . . . is complicating my ability to ensure that a detailed and effective plan is in place to maintain and replace the current capabilities of the Navy. In the absence of adequate resources, the Navy’s capabilities are in decline. My aim is to manage the inevitable decline until the fleet is replaced. This risk management approach, however, is contingent upon obtaining additional resources . . . Should no resources be allocated to address these issues, this decline will be obvious to Canadians.”


 

Text Box: COMMITTEE’S TRANSLATION: “We’re falling apart and we think that Canadians will start to notice when the ships start to sink.”

 

 

 

 

Canada needs a Navy

 

 

Despite the fact that we live in a country with the world's longest coastline, bordering on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans, in a country with an overall ocean area of responsibility totaling 11 million square kilometers, and in a country whose waters are used by more than 1,700 ships each day, most Canadians have probably never given their Navy much thought.[58]

 

Navies allow countries to protect their territorial waters, project power abroad, keep sea lanes open, honour obligations to allies, provide sea lift for troops fighting abroad, protect those troops with firepower when necessary, and move in the littoral waters of countries in which they are engaged in military activities. Navies no longer dominate the military world the way they did in the 19th century and early 20th century, but they remain vital both to self-defence and to advancing a country’s international interests.

 

The Defence chapters of the International Policy Statement calls for the Navy to enhance the ability of their ships to carry out littoral[59] operations, as part of the Standing Contingency Task Force and Mission Specific Task Force. The Navy is also directed to place greater emphasis on protecting Canada by leading the coordination of on-water response to a maritime threat or a developing crisis in our Economic Exclusion Zone and along our coasts. In this latter role, the Navy is to help develop the national common maritime picture and lead the development of fully-integrated interagency Maritime Security Operations Centres.

 

The Navy will also cooperate with other government departments and agencies in monitoring our maritime approaches and our internal waters such as the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

 

Somebody needs to start doing that. The Committee has recommended that the Canadian Coast Guard be armed so it can step into this void, but moving the Navy into this role would at least be preferable to having virtually undefended coasts.

 

It will be difficult to reconfigure a Navy that has so many current weaknesses, especially when complex ship replacement programs can take as long as 15-20 years. The Canadian Navy is faced with the task of maintaining its capabilities while undergoing a lengthy rebuilding process. Unless some extraordinary steps are taken to speed things up, the Navy is not going to have anything like the relevance that the Government has planned for it.

 

Our Overtasked Navy

 

The Navy has been operating at a turbulent tempo in recent years. The most obvious example was the 2001-2003 Operation Apollo deployment against terrorism in the Middle East, in which the Navy rotated 16 of its 18 major warships and 95 per cent of its 4,100 sailors to the Arabian Sea.[60]

 

Can the Navy be expected to perform competently at anything approaching that tempo over the next decade?

 

The short answer is no. The long answer can be found in Vice-Admiral M.B. MacLean’s 2005 “impact statement” to the Chief of the Defence Staff, outlining what part of its mandate the Navy would be able to fulfill under its 2005-2006 budgetary allotment, and what part it would not.[61]

 

Vice-Admiral MacLean stated bluntly in February 2005 that the Navy would not be able to deliver “the full level of maritime defence capability” with its 2005-2006 allotment.[62]

 

 

COMMITTEE’S TRANSLATION: “We cannot do our job.”


Vice-Admiral MacLean calculated he would have needed another $224 million to do what the Navy was mandated to do for Canadians in fiscal year 2005-2006.[63] Not surprisingly, only a small percentage of that additional money was forthcoming.

 

Chronic under-funding in recent years has resulted in a reduction of overall fleet effectiveness, personnel shortages, difficulties in sustaining current operations and a growing backlog of ship and infrastructure maintenance and repair.

 

At the most obvious level, there isn’t one type of vessel in the Navy’s fleet that doesn’t have problems. Every class of vessel has several deficiencies, and either they can’t be fixed, or they don’t get fixed, until they’ve gone further downhill. [64]

 

 In the Vice-Admiral’s words:

 

“…Reactive prioritization ensures a constant environment of inefficient churn at each level of the service provision. This in turn creates an overall trend of decay in the condition of the fleet, and ultimately increases the potential risk to safety of personnel and equipment.”

 

 

COMMITTEE’S TRANSLATION: “Instead of instituting a rational process of purchasing and repairing according to what we anticipate we will need to do our job, we are forced to keep patching our equipment after things go wrong. That’s not only a stupid way to maintain capital equipment, it endangers sailors’ lives.”


Canada’s Eroding Fleet

 

DESTROYERS – Four Iroquois-class destroyers were given a mid-life update between 1990-94. The HMCS Huron has since been decommissioned, leaving the Navy with three. The others are rusting out, and probably should have been put to bed a decade ago. During its fact-finding visit to Halifax in May 2005 the Committee was told that the destroyers will reach the end of their useful life in 2011. The official plan is to keep them going until 2015, which will mean expensive refits and repairs. With no destroyers, Canada will lose its command and control capability. It used that capability to good effect in the 1990s to lead coalition ships in operations around the Balkans and Southeast Asia. It is unlikely that any replacement will arrive before the destroyers must be retired.[65]

 

FRIGATES –   Between 1988-95, 12 new Halifax class frigates were commissioned. The frigates can play a useful enough role in the open ocean but, like the destroyers, they have more than is needed to play a constabulary role in the littoral. The Frigates are approaching their mid-life refit deadline. There should be a Canada-wide debate as to what would be the most intelligent way to replace these frigates; there is none.

 

SUBMARINES – The now infamous purchase and integration of four British Upholder class diesel-powered submarines into the Navy continues.[66] Mistakes were made in the process of acquiring the boats, starting with a four-year delay in political decision-making as to whether to acquire them, which left the subs deteriorating in dry dock., But since the acquisition process has been extensively investigated by both a Canadian Forces Board of Inquiry, as well as the House of Commons Committee on National Defence and Veterans’ Affairs, the Committee will not dwell on these issues.[67] It is time to examine the capability of the submarines on merit. The process of Canadianizing the Fire Control System, the torpedo handling and discharge system (tubes) and some navigation and communication equipment remains incomplete. In Halifax, the Committee was told that some portions of the Canadianization – including the ability to fire torpedoes – will not be completed for several years. Meanwhile, it is time to make plans for both the mid-life refit for the vessels and make some decisions on the future of the submarine program over the long term.

 

MARITIME COASTAL DEFENCE VESSELS – The Navy’s Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV) constitute its newest platform, built in the 1990s. The 12 Kingston-class vessels were designed to be fitted with specific packages for mine-hunting, side-scan sonar, and route survey; to provide a platform for training sailors, particularly reservists; and to perform a coastal defence role. While they do perform a limited coastal defence role, they were not constructed for coastal defence in the same way a Coast Guard Cutter would be. Sailors aboard an MCDV in Esquimalt told us that their vessel is unable to maintain station for a significant period of time in agitated seas. Chief of the Maritime Staff Vice-Admiral Bruce Maclean acknowledged this, “[MCDVs] cannot operate on the Grand Banks in the wintertime. They are simply not able to provide that mid-ocean capability.”[68]

 

SUPPORT SHIPS – The role of replenishing the fleet with fuel and provisions rests with the Navy’s Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships (AORs). With the decommissioning of HMCS Provider in 1998, the Navy now has only two: HMCS Protecteur and HMCS Preserver. While they have had extensive refits over the years, each is at least 35 years old. The simple fact that there are only two of AORs remaining– combined with their age and lack of serviceability – has created a challenge for resupplying vessels at sea.  Our support ships are losing their capacity to support. The government has announced that it will replace the AORs with Joint Support Ships (JSS). Eventually.

 

MARITIME HELICOPTERS – The Navy is supported by the notorious Sea Kings, Canada’s maritime helicopters. They operate off Frigates, Destroyers and Auxiliary Oil Replenishment ships. The Air Force’s hoary fleet of 29 helicopters eat up vast amounts of maintenance resources for every flying hour and now principally support only the high readiness ships. The fifteen-year saga to replace them is still not complete. A new fleet of 28 CH-148 helicopters will not be operational until the end of the decade.

 


Ghost Ships – Canada’s Missing Fleet

 

Ships that aren’t quite up to their jobs are at least better than ships that don’t exist to do important jobs. The Navy is missing a range of seagoing capabilities to fulfill its overseas and domestic missions. Most notably:

 

Strategic Sea Lift – Everyone remembers the summer of 2000, when Canada had all kinds of trouble getting 580 vehicles and 390 sea containers of equipment home from Kosovo. The Government of Canada hired SDV Logistics Canada Ltd. of Montréal to transport this $223 million worth of equipment back to Canada, along with three soldiers who were guarding it. SDV Logistics hired a sub-contractor, Andromeda Navigation Co. of Montreal, which chartered the cargo ship GTS Katie, which was registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and owned by Third Ocean Marine Navigation Co. of Annapolis, Maryland. It was a long trip. The Katie spent two weeks circling the mid-Atlantic after Third Ocean Marine ordered the captain not to enter Canadian waters until Andromeda Navigation settled a monetary dispute over an earlier charter. The Canadian government finally had to send diplomatic notes to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which gave permission for Canadian authorities to board the vessel. Fourteen sailors from HMCS Athabaskan eventually boarded the GTS Katie in a helicopter-borne assault, and the Katie was brought into port. This saga was, to say the least, an embarrassment. Canada needs both airlift and sealift capacity to move its personnel and equipment around the world. It has very little of either.

 

Ships to Move Troops to Shore – If Gen. Hillier is serious about focusing Canada’s military resources on manageable overseas missions where a Canadian presence can make a difference, we will need the capacity to move our troops from sea to shore. We don’t have that capacity now.

 

Ships That Can EFFECTIVELY Patrol Our CoastsCanada does not have a constabulary Coast Guard, like the United States does. Our coasts are wide open. The Canadian Navy needs ships that are bigger, faster, more seaworthy and better equipped than its inappropriately named Coastal Defence Vessels, but smaller than Frigates or Destroyers so they can patrol our littoral waters. Littoral waters are deemed important in the International Policy Statement, but no announcements have been made that would suggest that the Navy will soon have these kinds of ships.

 

Ships That Can Patrol the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence – The Great Lakes are Canada’s soft underbelly, are not a Navy responsibility, but they do constitute a problem. Despite recent government announcements with regard to joint RCMP-Canada Coast Guard patrols and pilot joint Canada-U.S. shiprider patrols, Canada has no significant presence on the Great Lakes. This vulnerability needs to be addressed by another government department.

 

Too Much Maintenance for Too Few Personnel

 

For the past 15 years Navy personnel strength has remained relatively constant at about 11,000 regular sailors, 4,000 reservists and approximately 4,000 civilians. More were needed, but no more could be recruited because of lack of funding.  In 2004, HMCS Huron, a command and control destroyer, was decommissioned because the Navy did not have enough crew to sail all its ships.

 

When Commodore Roger Girouard, Commander of Canada’s West Coast Fleet, appeared before the Committee in February 2005, Senator Joe Day asked him which was his biggest challenge ­– lack of parts, or lack of trained personnel. His reply:

 

“I would have to say at this point, sir, both. The [west] coast is shy of a number of sailors as compared to its establishment. I spoke of 1,900 in fleet. I am in fact established for about 2,200. We do have a challenge in ensuring that every bunk is filled on every ship. Again, we manage that people equation to ensure that deployers [ships tasked for deployment] are taken care of first and we deal with the shortfall in the other vessels as need be. We have a wave of recruits, young sailors and officers, coming in. However, on the trained level, we are not there yet.

 

As far as parts are concerned, there is the supply side and the bits and pieces. We are managing that. Our other challenge is maintenance capacity. That is, the ability for the workforce, including my sailors and fleet maintenance facility, to do all the maintenance, all the repairs, that I would ask for on a perfect day.

 

There, again, there is a shortfall in that capacity …. That entire resource equation, whether it is people, spares or the repair capacity, is something that, from my perspective as a fleet commander, I watch every day.”[69]



COMMITTEE’S TRANSLATION:  “We’re holding this thing together with baling wire.”

 

During its fact-finding visit to CFB Esquimalt, Commander Kevin Greenwood, CO of the HMCS Winnipeg, told the  that one impact of the shortage of sailors was that it limited the number of repairs a ship’s crew could undertake during a refit period. According to Greenwood, the size of the crew will shrink so dramatically that the sailors cannot undertake needed repairs.

 

This challenge is not isolated to the West Coast. Captain (N) Andy Smith, Commander of the Cape Scott Fleet Maintenance Facility – the Navy’s principal east coast place for fixing ships – stated that his budget for necessary fleet efficiency repairs was 20% short of what it should be. Smith told the Committee that because of the shortfall, he lacked the people to do the maintenance necessary to make sure the elements of the fleet sailed with proper capacities and backups. “Some ships might be deployed without the proper capacity or without the proper backup.”[70]

 

It meant a significant shortage of (military and civilian) technicians and electricians. It meant sometimes using personnel trained in one field, like engineering, to perform tasks in other fields, like planning or logistics.

 


The Personnel Crisis Could Get Worse

 

The Navy, like the rest of the Forces, faces a demographic challenge as many of its personnel are approaching – or past – retirement age. According to its Commander Captain Ian Smith, the Cape Scott Fleet Maintenance Facility is a good example of an alarming trend. According to Captain (N) Smith,

 

“The average age in Cape Scott is over 50, and I have one person who is 77. The average age of workers in some of the trades is 53 or 54 years old and those people are retiring as well. Very few of the military people who have retired have come back to work in that civilian workforce to date.”[71]

 

Captain (N) Smith’s comments reflect a nationwide phenomenon.

 

The Canadian navy has difficulty keeping high readiness ships at the full level of readiness required, and it cannot always meet departmentally mandated maintenance and realty asset repair targets. It is unable to sustain equipment and combat platforms, let alone upgrade them at the rate that it would like.

 

This would be an inefficient way to run any business, but we aren’t talking about any business here. We are talking about young people going on life-and-death missions on behalf of all Canadians.

 

Lack of Spare Parts and Equipment

 

Ship commanders preparing for missions are forced to cobble together the equipment needed to get their vessels to full operational capability. When the Committee visited Esquimalt, the Commanding Officer of HMCS Winnipeg said his ship was in the process of removing equipment from another ship berthed alongside so it would be adequately equipped to deploy to the Middle East. This is a common occurrence in the Canadian Navy. It is called TRANREQ for Transfer Request.[72] Sailors joke as to whose ship will get “the part.” The process of sharing parts from ship to ship not only leaves some ships under-equipped, wastes time in removing, and then reinstalling, and then removing, and then...  

 

But Commodore Girouard seemed resigned to this juggling routine:

 

“Does every ship in harbour that is under my flag have all its bits and pieces? No. This is a fact of life at the moment. It is a management issue and we keep working on it, day in, and day out.”

 

As Commodore Pile testified to the Committee in Halifax on May 6, 2005, “It would be wonderful to have all of the spare parts bins full and never have to worry about trading parts and people among ships to make them ready for sea, but we do that. We juggle a lot of our resources and people all the time.”[73]

 

It makes sense for the Navy to operate a Readiness and Sustainment Policy which cycles ships through states of readiness, allowing crews to rest and rejuvenate, and equipment to undergo maintenance. That said, there is a large gulf between this kind of recycling and the current practice of stripping parts from ships to get other ships ready for action. It is not the best use of the crew’s time, especially with the shortage of armed forces personnel.  

 

Lieutenant-General Marc Dumais testified to the Committee in May 2005 that the Canadian Forces understood the spare parts challenge facing the Navy. According to Dumais,

 

“In recent years, the demand of the maritime national procurement [spare parts] account has been steadily increasing due to the aging of all major fleet assets and to the introduction of the Victoria class submarines into service. This has necessitated setting priority on the work to be completed and has, in turn, started to impact fleet readiness. As a result of Budget 2005, the maritime national procurement allocation has been increased significantly.”[74]

 

COMMITTEE’S TRANSLATION: “We haven’t been able to afford spare parts for a long time, but we’re finally getting some money, so we’ll see.”

 

Crumbling Infrastructure

 

The Navy’s infrastructure is in no better shape than that of the Army and Air Force. Chronic underfunding of routine maintenance has led to a large contingent liability for repairs.

 

CFB Halifax, like CFB Esquimalt, underinvested in maintenance for the better part of the 1990s to cover costs for operations and personnel. The net impact is a growing “bow wave” of infrastructure costs. According to CFB Halifax Base Commander Captain Roger MacIsaac:

 

“The planned replacement value of the infrastructure is approximately $1.4 billion. On the whole, the facilities are relatively old. Budget shortfalls over past years have considerably inhibited the capability of staff to maintain all the infrastructure to what we consider comparative industry standards. The list of projects to meet these standards would total approx $280 million. … Our present funding is not sufficient to bring us to where we want to be to recapitalize the aging infrastructure, so in that vein, I would say you are correct.” [75]

 

Summing Up

 

The Navy is short personnel and spare parts. Its facilities are crumbling and its ships are aging. In a nutshell, in the words of Vice-Admiral MacLean’s words:

 

       “...an overall trend of decay.”[76]

 

 

 

 

III. The Canadian Air Force

 

Old aircraft. A shortage of pilots. A shortage of trained technicians. A lack of airlift to move personnel and equipment quickly in emergencies. Fast track replacement programs switched to the slow track. Helicopters older than the parents of the pilots who fly them.

 

All this, plus the largest shortfall in funding for the 2005-2006 fiscal year of any branch of Canada’s armed forces: $608 million.

 

Welcome to the Canadian Air Force, currently in a stall.

Chief of the Air Staff Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie was blunt in his testimony about the Air Force’s challenges:

“The air force is at a critical time in its evolution. Somewhat fragile after a decade of downsizing, we have one-half of the number of people and one-half of the number of aircraft that we had at the end of the Cold War.

Over the same period, the number of air force personnel deployed on operations has roughly doubled with no sign that future operational tempo will decrease.

Currently, aging fleets and infrastructure impose further strains on the air force's ability to fulfill its roles. The gap between national procurement funding [for spare parts] and the need, and the diminishing experience levels of and the ability to retain our personnel exacerbate these existing problems.

In short, the air force faces a sustainability gap in its ability to generate operational capability as it transforms to fulfill its roles in defence of Canada and Canadian interests.

In the post-9/11 security environment, the changing nature of the threat places even further demands on these stretched resources.

Notwithstanding today's stress, there is a determination to address the tough choices that must be made to meet these challenges of the future security environment. We must ensure that we are positioned to make the most efficient use of the resources that we have.”[77]

Essentially, we cut in the 1990s. We are being asked to do more now. Our kit and bases are getting older. We cannot afford to change and maintain the current fleet. More money and people are necessary or critical choices must be made. At another point in his testimony, you just start to feel for the Chief of the Air Staff.

“Senator Banks: You set it out pretty clearly. You said that we have half the personnel and half the aircraft and twice the job to do. You said that a few minutes ago.

Lieutenant-General Pennie: We have twice that piece that is deployed overseas; that operational tempo has gone up.

Senator Banks: It is not hard to see that that would lead to tough choices.

Lieutenant-General Pennie: It does. …”

Senator Day: Could this transformation that you have described to us be achieved based on the traditional historic funding that you have had?

Lieutenant-General Pennie: If my budget did not change — I mean the Air Force part of the CF budget — we could not achieve everything we are aspiring to. We could achieve close to that, but it would require some really tough decisions.”[78]

 

COMMITTEE’S TRANSLATION: “We’re barely keeping up appearances here.”

 

Despite the financial pounding it has taken from the federal government since 1994, Canada’s Air Force continues to be an essential element of national security and defence.

 

The Air Force maintains 365-day search and rescue coverage for the entire country, has aircraft on quick-reaction alert to respond to security breaches of our air space, provides coastal surveillance, airlifts military and civilian personnel and equipment around the world, and provides helicopter support to the Army and the Navy as well as deployed operations.

 

In this decade the Air force has provided support for NATO operations in Kosovo, responded with CF-18 fighters to the 9/11 attacks and stood on continuous alert since, flown CF-18 protection for the G8 Conference at Kananaskis, Alberta, provided continuous airlift support to Canadian operations in Afghanistan since 2001 and to virtually every Canadian Forces operation. Most recently it has ferried Red Cross volunteers to New Orleans to assist in hurricane response while repatriating Canadians from that disaster.

 

Despite severe funding reductions, the Government continues to require the Air Force to provide virtually the same operational capability as it did in 1994. It has done so by shrinking itself. It has also done so by borrowing against its future – a move that may haunt Canadians down the road.

 

Nearly every component of the Air Force has been diminished. In the mid-1990s the Air Force funneled five functional headquarters into one operational headquarters, cut flying hours in all its aircraft fleets, reduced its force of trained technicians and closed five major air bases.

 

Some of these moves made sense in the context of the end of the Cold War. The dissolution of the Soviet Union obviously diminished the likelihood of Canada being attacked by missiles or bombers coming at us from over the North Pole. Likewise, the threat of submarine attacks off the East Coast has disappeared.

 

But the severity of the cuts ignored new emerging threats. If fighter jets are not now needed to shoot down Soviet bombers, they are needed to protect our major cities from terrorist attacks. If coastal air patrols are not looking for Soviet subs, they should be looking for suspicious vessels approaching Canada’s coast. In addition, Maritime Patrol aircraft have been called upon to provide a non-traditional service, over land surveillance, and, will likely be called on to do so in the future.

 

The need to patrol Canada’s waters to enforce sovereignty and search for hostile vessels has not diminished. The Committee is of the view it has grown – and it may grow more in the future.

 

The requirement for airlift – and particularly strategic airlift – has also grown enormously. First, CF deployments overseas have increased, and second, Canada closed its forward bases in Germany. Now nearly everything gets shipped from North America, whereas before we had stockpiles of equipment and munitions in Europe. But Canada does not have a long-range airlift capacity – we continue to rent and hitch rides.

 

The reduction and amalgamation of the helicopter fleet eliminated the Canadian Forces battlespace reconnaissance capability and the ability to provide large/medium lift. Recent operations and the ongoing transformation of the Canadian Forces have demonstrated a renewed need for these capabilities. Scrambling is now underway to get them back.

 

Canada’s combat support aircraft have never been replaced, nor has a suitable contractor been found to reliably provide these services.  The list goes on.

 

Essentially, the Air Force skimped on everything to try to maintain as broad a range of capabilities as possible. And, as a result, the whole range of capabilities is hurting.

 

Largest Underfunding of Any Environment

 

The Air Force’s Impact Statement for fiscal year 2005-2006 shows that it is being underfunded by $608 million this year alone, which simply adds an exclamation mark to more than a decade of underfunding.[79]

 

While the federal government has not announced that it is considering dismantling the Air Force altogether, it continues to pluck its feathers out, one by one.

 

The Air Force absorbed the lion’s share of the cuts to the CF during the 1990s and continues to do so today. In terms of personnel, it has been cut in half. More than 10,000 personnel have been removed from the Air Force, shrinking it from just over 24,000 to about 12,500.[80]

 

The Air Force has a maintenance deficit that exceeds $1 billion.[81] Like the Navy and the Army, the Air Force has not yet found a way to totally fund its modernization plans. It is suffering from an acute shortage of pilots and aircraft maintenance specialists – obviously the two most essential personnel categories when it comes to keeping planes aloft.

 

When former Commander Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie filed his Impact Statement on the effect 2005-2006 budgeting would have on the Air Force, he essentially said Canadians will bear the brunt of massive underfunding:

 

“The Air Force continues to lose altitude in its effort to provide outstanding value to Canadians . . . We are beyond the point where even constant dedication is sufficient to sustain the capabilities needed to meet assigned Defence Tasks. The Air Force remains fragile due to chronic underfunding and asymmetric cuts to personnel. Our Wings and Squadrons are too hollow to sustain the current tempo of operations.”[82]

 

The Future?

 

In terms of the difference between government funding and what the Air Force needs to do its job, Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie predicted that “Unless some relief is found, [the gap is] going to get significantly worse over the next three years.”[83] In terms of the Air Force’s capacity to defend Canadians: “The planned [National Procurement funding for spare parts] will place most of the Air Force on the ground and will preclude any near-term recovery.”[84]

 

To sum up, he said: “The size of the [National Procurement] funding gap is simply daunting.”[85]

 

The funding shortage that Lieutenant-General Pennie portrays does not include the Air Force’s accumulated infrastructure deficit.

 

The practical impact of funding deficiency has resulted in aging aircraft fleets. There are persistent serviceability problems with the CC130 Hercules fleet, the air transport ‘workhorse’ of the CF. The lack of funding for spare parts will reduce flying even further and delay required maintenance. A number have reached the end of their “useful flying life” and will have to be replaced if maintenance costs are not to become prohibitive.[86]

 

The Air Force is unable to fully deliver key capabilities assigned.[87] Aircraft fuel costs account for approximately 25 per cent of the Air Force operations and maintenance budget. Significant increases in aircraft fuel costs, reduced aircraft availability rates and other budgetary pressures have led to reduced flying hours and a resulting drop in experience levels.[88] The Air Force’s ability to regenerate operational forces has declined to a critical level. In fact, the Air Force is now talking about deploying only two “six packs” of CF-18s, rather than two squadrons, each composed of 12-15 planes, that were available for deployment in the past, in effect halving the fleet.

 

Air Force personnel shortages create a significant constraint on operational readiness. Most notably, the Air Force suffers a shortage of CF-18 combat-ready pilots. But technicians also represent a major problem. In the 1990s, when the Air Force was forced to pay people to resign to meet personnel reduction targets, the hiring of new technicians was greatly reduced in spite of the fact that it was clear new technicians would be needed to do maintenance in the future. Short-term gain will now turn into long-term pain: the Air Force is already short of technicians, and it takes eight years of classroom and on-the-job training to qualify an aircraft technician.

 

Now, while the Air Force has fewer aircraft to maintain, they are older aircraft. They require more maintenance.  The severe hiring cutback – which lasted approximately eight years – has created a dangerous shortage of qualified technicians, as described to the Committee by Lieutenant-General Pennie:

 

“Lieutenant-General Pennie: Now we are opening the doors and recruiting again. If you look at our numbers, our positions are filled, but if you look underneath that and find out what qualifications those individual technicians have, in many bases and wings, 40 per cent and, in some cases, a much larger number, are not qualified. These are young people coming in going through the training process.

 

Senator Banks: They are not qualified yet?

 

Lieutenant-General Pennie: They are not qualified yet. They are qualified recruits, but they are not qualified to sign an aircraft as being serviceable or not serviceable. They are not qualified to sign off on that work because they are still learning; they are on-job training. That training process can take up to five years to get an individual qualified to fully sign off. That puts a real burden on those remaining behind. Do not forget that we reduced their whole organizations by a significant margin. The aircraft are not getting younger; the aircraft are getting older. That is a significant component of this.

 

Senator Banks: Therefore, they require more servicing?

Lieutenant-General Pennie: The work required has gone up a little. The number of people working on it has gone down, but the number of qualified people has also gone down. The people who are fully qualified have to support all of our overseas operations because you need to send fully qualified people to do the job overseas. When they come home, they have to train this cadre of young folk….Clearly we have wound down our operations in many different endeavours to deal with the cuts of the 1990s. The recruiting system was also driven down, and now we are trying to rebuild it.

Senator Meighen: I guess we wound down far too much, far too quickly, and now we are having a devil of a time cranking it back up again, whether it is reserves or processing of applicants or what have you. I take your nodding as agreement.”[89]


The lack of technicians in the Air Force has had visible results. At 4 Wing Cold Lake, for example, shortfalls have reduced the capabilities of the fighter force by 20 per cent. Col. Duff Sullivan said the lack of skilled technicians is actually reducing the skill of pilots:

“Colonel Sullivan: There are some significant challenges that we deal with every day. … We do have fairly significant concerns with a number of what we call trained and effective technicians on our squadron, and that is a very familiar term that you would probably hear in all the other communities.

What we would like to see on our fighter squadrons is approximately 90 per cent trained and effective strength.

Of my two tactical fighter squadrons, the lowest squadron is at 64 per cent, and the next squadron above that is at about 68 per cent, and so that is a fairly significant challenge. When you are only starting off with two-thirds of your capacity, it is a significant challenge to try to generate all your serviceable aircraft and to fly all the flying hours that you have been given.

We are being successful in training our technicians, but what we have traded off is that we are flying fewer hours, which impacts the proficiency of our pilots.

Senator Forrestall: Is that a significant lowering of the hours you are flying?

Colonel Sullivan: Yes, sir, it is. In fact, we are just coming to the end of this current fiscal year, and we will be 25 per cent underflown in our F-18 community in Cold Lake, and as the war fighters say, ``Hours not flown is capability not achieved.''

We could equate that into about a 20 per cent reduction in proficiency and capability.”[90]

The effect is that the Air Force’s pilots are no longer able to maintain combat readiness in low-level air-to-ground operations.

The operational commander of the Air Force, Major-General Charles Bouchard, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, agreed that flying hours have gone down:

“It has really been caused through a series of inter-related events, especially the availability of aircraft, the number of hours that can be generated of the current aircraft that we have, and also the number of technicians that can create and generate these hours.”[91]

 

The Air Force’s Personnel Crisis Could Get Worse

 

The personnel crisis in the Air Force stands to get worse. As in the Army and Navy, the Air Force faces a demographic bulge as many of its most senior technicians move towards retirement. As Colonel Bill Werny, Commanding Officer of the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment at CFB Cold Lake testified:

“Other human resource issues that further exacerbate manning shortages include the projected retirement within the next three years of civilian personnel accounting for over 190 years of experience and continuity …”[92]

Colonel Perry Matte, Commanding Officer of 14 Wing at CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia, voiced similar concerns. He said that “the vast majority of the maintainers at trained effective strength have 15 years of service or more and are looking to retirement in the near future.”[93] The implication of which is that in the near future, without addressing the deficit in the number of technicians certified on the aircraft, the CF will have no one who is qualified to sign off on work done on its long-range maritime patrol aircraft.

 


Aircraft

 

The Air Force had 684 aircraft in 1990. Today, only 303 remain.[94] During this same period the number of authorized annual flying hours has decreased from about 290,000 to about 120,000, a 59 per cent reduction.

 

The fighter fleet that boasted 125 CF-18s in 1990 now consists of 104 CF-18s of which only 80 are in the process of being updated. The 1994 Defence White Paper decreed that the fighter fleet would be reduced to 48-60 aircraft assigned to operational squadrons.[95] A further attempt at cost cutting in 2000 caused the number assigned to the operational squadrons to be fixed at 48, or 12 for each of Canada's four fighter squadrons. Twenty of the aircraft in the updated fleet of 80 will be used for training, and two will be used for test and evaluation. The remaining 10 aircraft will be rotated into the operational squadrons as replacements for aircraft undergoing maintenance and kept as a reserve in case of emergency.

 

The fleet of 114 tactical helicopters that was once made up of three types – the Chinook, the Huey and the Kiowa – was consolidated into a single fleet of 100 Griffons in the mid-1990s. There are 75 are still flying. Operating one single fleet saves money, but capacity has clearly declined.

 

What does that mean? It means that at times Canadian Forces Commanders in the field don’t have all the tools they need. Major-General Andrew Leslie, former Canadian Commander of International Security Assistance Force, told the Committee in Kingston that it would have been useful if his force possessed a more powerful helicopter with a greater lift capacity than the Griffon.[96]

 

The long-range maritime patrol aircraft fleetthat once consisted of 40 aircraft – 18 Auroras, 3 Arcturus, 19 Trackers – now struggles to fulfill its mandate with 18 Auroras and 2 Arcturus. The latter will be retired by 2007. The Trackers were retired in the late 1980s. A protracted update program in place will modernize all 18 Auroras. However, the update does not address the structural issues with these aircraft that will have to be addressed within the next five years at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

Colonel Matte, the officer responsible for our east coast Aurora Maritime Patrol Aircraft, said that because of this refit program, and the lack of spare parts and technicians, his greatest challenge was simply getting planes in the air. The net effect according to Colonel Matte, was:

 

“The capacity to generate flying hours today is less than half of what it was in the early 1990s. While our air crew remain safe and proficient to fly their assigned missions, there has been an appreciable reduction in the number of hours flown and subsequently the exposure and experience gained by our crews.”[97]

 

The maritime helicopter role will continue to be filled by the aging Sea Kings until the new maritime helicopter becomes operational in about 2009. There are currently 29 Sea Kings to be replaced by 28 CH-148’s maritime helicopters.

 

The air transport fleet consists of five Polaris (Airbus A310) aircraft that fulfill multiple roles – personnel transport, freight hauling and (once modifications are complete on two of the aircraft) air-to-air refueling. These aircraft replaced an equal number of Boeing 707’s in the early 1990s after being purchased second-hand from the Canadian aviation industry.[98]

 

The CC-130 Hercules fleet includes 32 aircraft, 19 of which were purchased in the mid-1960s, putting them among the oldest operating Hercules in the world. Only seven are less than 20 years old. Replacement of Hercules fleet is long overdue.[99]

 

In addition to lift provided by the Air Force, the Canadian Forces spends tens of millions a year chartering lift capacity either from allies or from the private sector. For example, the Canadian Forces chartered lift capacity to deploy its ISAF contingent’s equipment and cargo from Turkey to Kabul and it chartered lift to deploy the Disaster Assistance Response Team to East Asia in the aftermath of the December 2004 Tsunami. The Committee estimates that the Canadian Forces spends on average about $50 million a year to charter lift capacity.[100]

 

The search and rescue fleet has fared better than most during these difficult times. Fourteen aging Labrador helicopters have been replaced by 15 new Cormorants over the past five years. In the early 1990s, nine of 15 Buffalo aircraft were forced into retirement as a cost-cutting measure. But the Air Force soon realized that it needed to replace them in a number of locations with the already overused C130s.

 

The Canadian Forces have started a project to acquire a new fixed-wing SAR aircraft that will allow retirement of the last six Buffalo aircraft and the oldest of the CC-130’s now committed to search and rescue. Although it was once on the “fast track”, this project has lost momentum and is now unlikely to produce an operational aircraft until 2008 at the earliest.[101]

 

The combat support element of the Air Force provided a range of services in support of operations to all three services including: base rescue, live targets for naval and army anti-aircraft exercises, airborne electronic emitters to train sensor operators to operate in degraded conditions and light transport to carry urgently needed parts or to move small numbers of personnel in a hurry.

 

The combat support element of the Air Force has virtually disappeared (with the exception of 10 Griffon helicopters for base rescue). The retirement of the six Challenger jets and 42 obsolete T-33 fighter jets used for electronic warfare and other types of training have not been replaced and the Canadian Forces have not been able to find an affordable contracted substitute. The result of this has been that our forces are no longer as well prepared to meet and counter the full range of threats that they may encounter on the battlefield, at sea or in the air.

 

In the Pipeline, or Not

 

The plan is clearly to emphasize quality over quantity in Canada’s Air Force. The following aircraft will need upgrading or replacing if that plan is to be brought to fruition: 

 

a.     CP-140 Aurora Incremental Modernization Program. After an unnecessarily long, costly and inefficient set of refit, the first batch of aircraft will be modernized by the end of 2005 and all 18 aircraft will be completed in 2010. This will address the aircraft's electronic systems shortcomings, within the next decade, Canada's Aurora aircraft will require an extensive structural refit if it must continue flying past 2020.

 

If Government of Canada fails to maintain the Canadian Forces' Aurora capability, the Forces will lose its only strategic surveillance platform. Canada's ability to monitor its coasts and the North will be significantly diminished.

 

b.     CF-18 Update. Phase 1 of the CF-18 modernization project is complete and the 80 aircraft being upgraded are scheduled to be completed by 2009.

 

The ongoing modernization will give Canada’s CF-18s enhanced operational capability through their expected lifetime (approximately 2020) with improved radios, radar and enemy aircraft recognition capability. But as 2020 quickly approaches, the question remains what comes next?

 

c.      Maritime Helicopter Project (CH-148). The first delivery of an eventual 28 aircraft is expected around 2009.

 

The arrival of a new Maritime Helicopter is long overdue. Helicopters on board our ships provide an over-the-horizon capability for our naval forces.  The out-dated and limited capability of the Sea Kings should have been replaced in the 1990s.  The new helicopters will provide the navy with an enhanced surveillance and warning capability that will protect our sailors and air crew. They will also provide ability supporting littoral operations as emphasized in recent CF coalition operations.

 

d.     Fixed-Wing Search-and-Rescue (FSAR) Aircraft. Since the project to acquired the SARs is no longer on the fast track, deliveries can be expected no sooner than 2008.

 

These aircraft are required to ensure that Canadians receive around the clock Search-and-Rescue capability throughout Canada.    The new aircraft will replace Buffalo aircraft (originally planned for retirement in the early 90s) and older Hercules aircraft that are required to support tactical airlift operations. 

 

e.      Strategic Airlift: Canada has no strategic lift and will not for the foreseeable future.Concepts remain under study and no active project has been started. The Canadian Forces are conducting a review of all airlift requirements: light tactical transports for domestic operations; medium-lift support platforms for domestic and overseas use; plus options for getting personnel and equipment to operational locations: strategic lift.

 

The longer the Government spends studying the strategic lift problem, the longer it will take to stop renting and/or borrowing lifts from our allies and / or the private sector.

 

f.       CC-130 Hercules Replacement: Here too, concepts remain under study. A replacement is hoped for somewhere in the 2012-2015 period.

 

Hercules aircraft operated by the Canadian Forces are among the oldest (and most heavily flown) aircraft in the world.  In the past few years, the Hercules availability has been abysmal (less than 50%), resulting in an overall reduction in the ability of the Canadian Forces to support personnel deployed overseas or operations in Canada. This project, as part of an overall air mobility capability must move forward; it is already long past due.

 

g.     Medium Lift Helicopter – The vision in the International Policy Statement anticipates a fleet of medium-lift helicopters to support operations such as those presently being conducted in Afghanistan. This new design may be similar to the Chinook that the Canadian Forces purchased in the 1970s and offloaded to the Netherlands in the 1990s.

 

 

While the Defence Policy Statement has listed this capability as required in the near term, no acquisition schedule has been announced.Given the type of mission the Canadian Forces have just undertaken in Afghanistan, Commanders in the field are now missing an important capability.  Thus, the sooner, the better!

 

 

IV. Particular Armed Forces Capabilities

 

While most of the functions dealt with in this chapter would fit under the general headings of Army, Navy and Air Force, the Committee believes they are important enough to be separated out and dealt with individually. Each heading confronts a problem; each deserves special attention.

 

They include:

 

1.     Special Forces: JTF-2 – Is this fierce force being given the resources it needs? As shrouded in secrecy as this elite unit is, we know enough to say no – not yet anyway.

 

2.     Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) – Canadians love the DART. But is it mostly for show the way it is configured now?

 

3.     Strategic Lift – Is it in Canadians’ best interests to have no quick and reliable way of getting personnel and equipment to trouble spots at home and abroad in times of emergency? Of course not.

 

4.     Defence Intelligence – Intelligence has become the most critical weapon in modern warfare. Is Canada giving intelligence the priority it deserves? We shouldn’t be scrimping here.

 

5.     Information Technology – Information is of limited value if key players can’t talk to each other. Rationalize the department’s computer technology.

 

6.     Maritime Security Operations Centres –Bringing together an accurate picture of what is happening on our coasts is critical to Canada’s domestic security. Is it coming together quickly enough? No.

 

1.   Special Forces: JTF-2

 

Joint Task Force Two, a special operations unit of about 500 personnel drawn from all three environments Regular Forces and the Reserves, is the Canadian military’s most elite fighting force. It may also be the one most in flux.

 

JTF-2 was created in 1993 after responsibility for federal counter-terrorism interdiction was transferred from the RCMP’s Special Emergency Response Team to the Canadian Forces. A move recommended by the Senate Special Committee on Terrorism and Public Safety.

 

At the time, JTF-2’s functions were almost exclusively focused on intervening to counter terrorist attacks. Its role was to perform missions like boarding hijacked airliners. It was essentially designed to be the spear behind the shield of police and intelligence.

 

While JTF-2 maintains that counter-terrorism role (its Commanders tell the Committee that it maintains the capacity to respond to incidents in high-rise buildings, in subways, on aircraft, and on ships) JTF-2 is in the process of expanding and evolving into a more traditional special operations force.

 

That evolution was accelerated by the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, which represented the unit’s first major war-fighting campaign. This was an early demonstration of JTF-2s widening mandate and a greater focus on overseas activities. JTF-2 personnel have since deployed with every rotation of Canadian troops to Afghanistan.

 

Some of JTF-2’s broader capabilities include the capacity to deploy from submarines or by parachute, and to direct laser-guided ordinance onto targets.

 

In its December 2001 budget, the government announced that it was committing $119 million to double the size of JTF-2 and expand its capabilities. According to department officials, most of that money – with the exception of some funds for infrastructure – has been spent. However, the government will not reveal whether JTF-2 the status of the unit’s planned personnel expansion, which is rumored to be going slowly, nor does it suggest that it has any plans to build urgently-needed new training facilities before 2008.[102]

 

Challenges

 

A. Recruitment of Personnel

 

Expanding JTF-2 is not an easy task because of the overall shortage of personnel in the Forces, tough qualification standards, and the lengthy training process.

 

The potential pool of applicants for JTF-2 is limited to experienced Canadian Forces members, which is causes problems simply because there is such a shortage of personnel in the Forces generally. Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff Lieutenant-General Marc Dumais testified that “Units do not want to give up their personnel to postings at JTF-2. Everyone is short of experienced personnel but I do not think there is a shortage of personnel who are interested in joining JTF-2.”[103] Lieutenant-General Dumais added that he expects the upcoming increase of 5,000 regulars will ease this tension, but that won’t come about for at least five years.

 

The learning curve at JTF-2 is steep and painful. DND officials say it takes a recruit about three years to become fully effective. The pre-requisites for a try-out with JTF-2 are seven years in the Canadian Forces, a suitable personal/family/financial background, and a commanding officer’s recommendation. Those who pass a grueling physical must then make it through a year-long course to become assaulters. The Committee was told during a 2002 visit to the unit’s Dwyer Hill headquarters that only about a quarter of those who make it past the physical eventually become assaulters.

 

B. Retention of Personnel

 

JTF-2 has faced a challenge in retaining personnel over the last few years. There are three main reasons for this. First has been the growth of the international private security market since 2001. JTF-2 members are highly sought after. Though JTF-2 personnel receive special pay bonuses, lucrative private sector compensation packages and the opportunity for action sometimes lure them away.[104]

 

Problem 2: the lifestyle. Life for JTF-2 personnel is difficult. They are required to keep themselves at an extremely high level of readiness, often for extended periods of time without being deployed. They live secretive lives at home, and invisible lives in the field. All this can wreak havoc on family life.

 

Problem 3: Because of the unique character of the unit, its missions and training, there is only a certain amount of time that JTF-2 personnel can stay in the organization before it becomes difficult to return to the Regular Canadian Forces or Reserves, and get on with their careers. According to senior DND officials, this provides for a relatively constant turnover rate.

 

C. Weaknesses of Supporting Elements

 

Canadian Forces leadership told the Committee that JTF-2 itself  operates with “state-of-the-art” equipment. However, like a good stereo with bad speakers, its performance is hampered by its lack of ancillary tools. For example, JTF-2 currently relies primarily on Canada’s CC-130 Hercules and Griffon helicopters for its intra-theatre and tactical airlift. Neither is ideal. The serviceability, range and lift capability of these aircraft limit JTF-2’s capacity to respond both in Canada and overseas.

 

Also lacking: adequate logistical, medical and elite infantry support. An elite infantry unit with a special operations mindset would act as a force multiplier in terms of the muscle that JTF-2 can bring to bear on a situation. If JTF-2 were ordered to assault a target in Kandahar, the tier-one infantry support could be used to secure the surrounding area and ensure that JTF-2 could operate within a relatively safe cordon.

 

It should be noted that the International Policy Statement has recognized the need to augment these enabling capabilities through the creation of the Special Operations Group. 

 


D. Existing facilities

 

Given JTF-2’s expansion and evolution, and with the introduction of the proposed Special Operations Group, JTF-2’s days at its Dwyer Hill training facility are clearly numbered. As Lieutenant-General Dumais testified in June:

 

“The Dwyer Hill site has become an encroachment issue because the area is small and so the facility is bursting at the seams. That will be exacerbated by the increase in size as we develop the special operations group. We do have to find a larger, better site for them.”[105]

 

Any new facility, he said, will have to give the unit the ability to respond quickly in relation to large population centres; it will need immediate access to airlift; and it will have to offer facilities to do very complex training in a large, multi-dimensional setting.

 

Surrounded by Secrecy

 

JTF-2 is a widely-admired fighting force in international military circles, capable of quick and effective forays in times of emergency. JTF-2 received the United States Presidential Unit Citation for their outstanding contribution to multi-national Special Operations Forces task force that operated in Afghanistan in 2002.

 

The government has veiled JTF-2 in secrecy under the guise of operational security. Some of this secrecy is clearly warranted; most of it is not.

 

Even in private conversations with parliamentarians, questions as basic as  “How big is the unit?” – are dodged, even though its initial size is a matter of public record and the Government has put out a press release saying it intends to double the size. The vague responses that the Committee gets to simple questions reflect an obvious mind set: the Government clearly has no intention of allowing parliamentary institutions the capacity to assess whether JTF-2 is accomplishing useful military ends and whether it is being properly supported to accomplish those ends. To paraphrase the kind of responses we get –

 

Knowing the size of our force could allow someone to design an attack that would overwhelm the capacity of our force to defeat it.

 

Bits of information which might seem unimportant, taken together, can form a picture which might help our enemies.

 

Herewith an exchange between the Committee Chair and Lt General Dumais, from June 27, 2005:

 

Chair: How far has [JTF-2’s] role morphed or changed from the original one, dealing with hijacked aircraft?

 

Lieutenant-General Dumais: Their role has expanded significantly, without going into detail. It does require intensive training and highly skilled individuals.

 

Chair: When you say “without going into detail,” when you are talking to Parliament, how much can you share with Parliament about what they do?

 

Lieutenant-General Dumais: Unfortunately, not very much. This is a matter of operational security for several reasons. We all understand that divulging too much about their capabilities or any other aspect of what they do could compromise their ability to execute their mission or could put them at individual risk.”[106]

 

JTF-2’s job has changed. But Canadians don’t know why, or how. There are ways of relaying pertinent detailed information that would not compromise JTF-2’s security or effectiveness, but there is clearly no willingness to offer up an intelligent assessment of what Canada is doing at the sharpest edge of its military spear.

 

While the Committee recognizes that some information needs to remain secret, we believe that all Canadians should be privy to more information about the unit, its capabilities and its missions. That way they can make their own decisions as to whether this force is doing what needs to be done to advance Canada’s interests, and whether it is being provided with adequate resources and leadership. How else can anyone determine whether JTF-2 is a useful component of Canada’s national defence and foreign policy?

 

2. Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART)

 

The DART is an emergency response team. It is composed of approximately 200 Canadian Forces personnel meant to fly into a disaster area to provide limited medical treatment, engineering capacity and drinking water for up to 40 days until more comprehensive aid arrives.

 

It was set up by the Canadian military in 1996 after Canadian and other countries’ relief teams arrived in Rwanda too late to save several thousand people displaced by the Rwandan genocide from a cholera epidemic.

 

The DART has been deployed three times in subsequent years: to Honduras in 1998 after a hurricane devastated the country, to Turkey in 1999 for earthquake relief and to Sri Lanka two weeks after a tsunami devastated the island on Dec. 26, 2004.

 

This unit is capable of providing basic medical care and taking measures to prevent the spread of disease. Its water purification facilities can produce up to 200,000 litres of safe drinking water a day.[107] It can help repair infrastructure, fix power and water supplies, build roads and bridges, and set up refugee camps. And it is designed to help improve communications to assist overall relief efforts. It is not designed to operate in conflict zones.

 

The DART has a very attractive acronym, befitting the fact that it very popular with Canadians. Which means, of course, it is also attractive to Canadian politicians. It was among the military components most often mentioned by participants at the town hall meetings the Committee organized in every Canadian province. Almost to a person what the  heard from the public was a resounding cheer for the DART.

 

 

However, the DART has three primary weaknesses: its deployment relies on the will of politicians; it is expensive to deploy; and, Canada lacks the capacity ensure that it gets deployed quickly and efficiently.

 

It is worth noting that the federal government decided against sending the DART to Haiti during a hurricane disaster in 2004. Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew observed at the time that the government was obliged to take into account the cost of a DART mission – the DART intervention in Turkey, for instance he said, had cost Canadian taxpayers $15 million.

 

It is also worth noting that the DART’s mission to Sri Lanka arrived at least a week later than might have been expected, given its much-vaunted rapid-response capacity. Part of the delay, however, was due to political indecisiveness.

 

In a speech at the National Press Club on February 2, 2005, Care Canada President John Watson said that sending the DART to Sri Lanka “makes no sense, except as a PR exercise.”[108] He said the government had decided to use “a Cadillac where a motor scooter or skateboard would be more useful” and added that he would “throw up” if he heard one more person say that DART is fast moving and capable of responding faster than non-governmental organizations.

 

The Committee has not seen evidence, to date, that the DART is much more than a Cadillac. It looks good, it costs a lot, but it doesn’t accelerate as well as its competitors and, without its own air lift, it has maneuverability problems in emergencies.

 

Canada lacks the in-house ability to get the DART where it needs to go quickly.[109]At the moment, it takes 26 separate Hercules lifts to move the Disaster Assistance Response Team (more than one load for every Hercules likely to be available on a given day). Could the DART get off the ground quicker if Canada had its own airlift capacity? Undoubtedly.

 

Is the DART an intelligent investment of scarce military funds if it can be proven that giving the money to NGOs – or sending less expensive military contingents – would provide more bang for Canada’s buck?

 


This question would apply to operations in Canada, as well as missions overseas. The lack of sufficient Canadian-owned lift capacity calls into question the Canadian Forces’ ability to get the DART to where it might need to go in Canada.

 

Last fall, the Committee expressed skepticism at a government announcement that it was enhancing the DART’s domestic capabilities because as of December 2004, DART had not acquired either the additional personnel or cold weather equipment promised. Ten months later, the government has still not demonstrated this improved domestic capacity nor has it proven it can deploy DART quickly from its Ontario bases to elsewhere in Canada.

 

3. Strategic Lift

 

Canada’s geography is such that the Canadian Forces will more often than not find themselves responding to a crisis – either domestically or overseas – from a great distance. This requires the capability to move personnel and materiel in as few trips as possible. If we are going to have responsive Armed Forces, we need to be able to get them where they need to go in a timely manner.

 

There are two facets to the capability of strategic lift – airlift and sealift – and Canada is sorely lacking in both.

 

Strategic Airlift

 

There have been two examples just in the last year when Canada could have used its own strategic airlift to great effect.

 

The first was Canada’s slow response to the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia during in late December 2004 and early January 2005 which clearly demonstrated its clumsy approach to providing strategic airlift during times of emergency.

 

During the crisis the Department of National Defence chartered two Antonov AN-124 aircraft to make a total of five flights from CFB Trenton to Sri Lanka to deploy the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). Each flight cost $US 880,000, and the total cost of the charters with all fees and expenses factored was expected to be $US 4.8 million.[110] These costs did not include any sustainment flights nor any redeployment airlift to Canada. Because of the political waffling around the decision to deploy DART at all, it was reported in the press at the time that at least one attempt to charter Antonovs fell through.

 

A Canadian-owned strategic lift capability would have eliminated the need for these rentals.

 

Canada was also much slower than it otherwise could have been in getting assistance to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in early September 2005. The Government of Canada’s response was led by the Canadian Forces Task Force Group of three Navy ships and one Coast Guard vessel. It carried relief supplies and about 900 military personnel. The Task Group began to arrive on the scene on September 12, 6 days after it left Halifax and more than two weeks after the storm struck on August 29.

 

Had the Government had strategic airlift capability, it could have provided a more rapid response to the crisis. . Delivery of supplies and personnel could have begun a few hours after the Government decided to act, instead of the six days that was required to get the ships in place. Without strategic airlift, the capacity of the Canadian Forces to move 1,000 personnel and tonnes of supplies is limited.

 

Hitching a Ride

 

Canada’s approach to moving large groups of military personnel and equipment in sizeable quantities has essentially been to hitch-hike, or take a cab. We either bum a ride from our friends (most often, the Americans), or we rent large planes or ships, if and when they are available.

 

The Canadian government has repeatedly insisted that it saves money by renting, rather than buying, large transport planes of its own. As then Minister of National Defence John McCallum said:

 


“I have made it crystal clear that the Canadian Forces will not be unilaterally purchasing large transport planes at a cost of some $3 to $5 billion. Only two of our 18 NATO allies – the United States and the United Kingdom – have this capability and their militaries are far larger than ours will ever be.”[111]

 

Canada has not owned a large lift capacity for some time now. But there have been plenty of times when we really could have used one. In 1992, we relied on the U.S. Air Force to transport some of our armoured vehicles to Somalia. In 2002, we used civilian rentals and U.S. military aircraft to deploy infantry to Afghanistan. And these aren’t exactly exceptions. As the Fraser Institute pointed out in its August 2005 study The Need for Strategic Lift:

 

“McCallum defied his critics with the statement that ‘no one has yet been able to give me a single instance where  the absence of this capability stopped us or significantly delayed us in moving people or equipment from point A to point B.’ Except for the ‘instances’ of East Timor, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Sri Lanka, the  Minister’s statement is unchallengeable.”[112]

 

It gets more embarrassing. During the 1998 Ice Storm, Canada rented large transport planes to bring in relief supplies to Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, but it was also was forced to turn to the U.S. government in order to move our personnel and equipment across our own country.[113]

 

Canada does have planes that can carry troops and equipment, but they are relatively small. The Canadian military has between 16-24 Hercules tactical, or intra-theatre, lift transport planes (out of a fleet of 32) available on any given day. As noted on page 67, these aircraft are old and the entire fleet will soon need replacing.

 

Moreover, as noted above, it takes 26 separate Hercules lifts to move the Disaster Assistance Response team, compared to the six lifts it would require if Canada operated an aircraft like the Boeing C-17s used by the United States and Britain.  It has been estimated that there are hundreds of types of Canadian military equipment that will not fit into a Hercules without being dismantled.

 

It does not give comfort to recall the deployment of Canada’s peacekeeping force from Canada to East Timor several years ago. Because of their range and capacity, after leaving Canada, the Hercules would generally stop three times before reaching East Timor.[114] One of our Hercules was forced to return to base more than once because of faulty equipment before finally lumbering to its destination.[115]

 

There are real costs to this lack of capacity. The Committee estimates that the Canadian Forces spends on average about $50 million a year to charter lift capacity.

 

There are less obvious costs that must be associated with having insufficient strategic airlift as well. Among them: the increased length of time it takes to get to a destination; the strain placed on pilots due to the increased number and length of flights; and the need to maintain a sizeable presence of personnel at staging and enroute bases.

 

The Canadian Air Force currently does have five CC-150 Polaris aircraft, the equivalent of the A310-300 Airbus airliner. However, as the Fraser Institute report notes:

 

“The Polaris is capable of carrying 32,000 kg of cargo but, as a converted airliner, can only move personnel and pallets, not military vehicles or other outsized cargo. Furthermore, the need for specialized loading and unloading equipment, the lack of a loading ramp to permit the rolling cargo on and off, and the need for a prepared hard surface landing strip make its purpose different, but by no means less important, than that of a purely strategic heavy-lift aircraft.”[116]

 

Since the Polaris does not have the capacity or the Hercules the range to get Canadian personnel and equipment to far-off places quickly, we are often forced to rent. What we rent are often rickety old planes from suppliers in Russia and the Ukraine, mostly Antonovs. There aren’t many Antonovs still flying, and those that are don’t have much life span left. Moreover, they have uncomfortable similarities to the Yakovlev-42 that crashed in Turkey last year, killing 62 Spanish peacekeepers.[117] As a matter of policy, the Canadian Forces use them only for transporting cargo, not personnel.

 

Strategic Sealift

 

Moving personnel and materiel by sea can have its advantages: more equipment can be carried in a single load; a ship can be pre-positioned off a potential conflict zone in preparation for a mission, reducing response time in the event the government decides to engage; and, a sealift vessel can provide support to forces once they deploy ashore.

 

 

Reference was made earlier in this report (page 51) to the cargo ship GTS Katie, which circled the mid-Atlantic in the summer of 2000, laden with Canadian military supplies returning from Kosovo, while private sector interests haggled over an unpaid bill for an earlier charter. The saga was an embarrassing reminder to Canadians that we are at the whims of outsiders when it comes to moving our personnel and equipment around the world.

 

 

Canada’s dedicated sea lift capacity is arguably in even worse shape than its dedicated air lift capacity. Vessels that provide sea lift also support the Canadian Forces when they go ashore. In recent years Canada has depended on its “fleet” of Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships (AORs) – now composed of HMCS Preserver and HMCS Protecteur – to support personnel ashore. Both vessels are more than 35 years old. They were not designed for sea lift. They were meant to carry fuel and supplies, not heavy equipment.

 

The alternative to moving this kind of heavy equipment is using commercial ships, and the government argument is that renting these private vessels is more cost effective than buying. This is undoubtedly true, but in times of conflict when personnel and valuable equipment end up traveling in vessels that may not be available at times they are badly needed, and whose owners’ chief loyalty is to the bottom line, not Canada.

 

In April 2004, at CFB Gagetown, the Prime Minister committed the government to replacing the Navy’s two remaining AORs with new ships that would, have some measure of lift capability in addition to being fleet resupply vessels,. In the 2005 budget, the government pledged to develop a Joint Support Ship project to improve Canada’s sealift and refueling capacity.

 

Plans call for the construction of three large vessels with the sealift capability to transport personnel, heavy equipment, vehicles and other cargo, with proper loading and unloading capabilities. The vessels will also be capable of providing munitions, fuel and supplies to ships and submarines in company, with facilities for tactical medium-lift helicopters.

 

Since then, there has been talk about another type of vessel that would be more exclusively tailored to carrying personnel and equipment and supporting operations ashore.[118]

 

The Committee has reservations about both plans. The JSS proposal appears to be trying to accomplish too many tasks with one type of ship. Furthermore, there do not appear to be enough of them on the way. Finally, the first of the vessels will not likely be ready for years. We have similar reservations about the plans for the three large mixed-use vessels.

 

4. Defence Intelligence

 

Intelligence is critical to success in modern conflict. The Canadian Forces must have the capability and capacity to collect, process and disseminate information from the myriad sources available to them – human and technological, open and covert, internal to the Forces, within government or friendly nations – to its commanders and planners.

 

 

A CF-18 pilot needs to know about the target they are about to bomb. A mission commander needs intelligence about the strength and disposition of the enemy they may have to confront. The Chief of the Defence Staff needs to understand how emerging trends might alter the nature of conflict so he can provide the right advice to the Government of Canada about the long-term needs of the Forces.

 

Two recent Department of National Defence studies deemed Canada’s defence intelligence to be inadequate. That situation hasn’t changed significantly.

 

A Chief of Review Services report completed in May 2002 revealed that there were at least five senior managers in the Department with an intelligence role, but that there was no central intelligence functional authority to coordinate their efforts. The review reported that national defence information and information technology capabilities were “in disarray,” despite being “critically important.” The DND/CF Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and open source intelligence (OSINT) capability were rated ‘basic.’” Even worse, there was no collection doctrine, policy or directives.

 

The Defence Intelligence Review (DIR), completed in 2004, did not find one part of defence intelligence to be adequate, except at the tactical level.[119]

 

The key findings of the review addressed the fact that under the ad-hoc intelligence accountability structure within the Department at the time, it was not possible for the Department's intelligence components to: function as a well-integrated whole; satisfy increasing and changing demands for intelligence; or, adapt to the changing security environment, particularly with regards to asymmetric threats. A new structure was needed.

 

The Canadian Forces have recognized that defence intelligence as a priority. The DND’s 2005-06 Report on Plans and Priorities lists it as the second of its four top priorities for the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff.[120] Similarly, the Canadian Forces has created the position of Chief of Defence Intelligence with the intention of coordinating all aspects of defence intelligence.

 

The challenge now is going to be the execution of the recommendations of the Defence Intelligence Review with limited resources and people. In December 2004, Major-General Michel Gauthier, Chief of Defence Intelligence, explained to the  that he lacks the resources to get on with the job:

“Major-General Gauthier: I am not one who is inclined to say that I have enough to do the job. …[There are] a number of areas where I am saying that we do not have enough [resources] and we are taking risks. We must look at these areas more closely and better define what our needs are and bring that forward, and then some decisions can be made either about resource allocation or risk management.

Given how quickly the threat environment has changed, given over the last decade the breadth of deployments around the world, I would not suggest for a minute that we have all the capabilities we need right now — in fact, quite the opposite….

In the context of deployed operations I have concerns with our existing HUMINT capability to directly support operations overseas, and with the counterintelligence function. From a strategic analysis perspective, I cannot identify one specific area. It is more of a quantitative issue, where I have indicated that I need quite a bit more than I have.”[121]

The Canadian Forces have recently recruited additional intelligence analysts. Both military and experienced civilians and new units are being formed to focus on open source intelligence, HUMINT, geomatics, imagery, counter-intelligence and plans. Nevertheless, the Canadian Forces’ intelligence capability remains understaffed and under-resourced.

Too few people are required to gather intelligence on too many parts of the world. Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff Lieutenant-General Marc Dumais pointed out in his 2005-2006 impact statement that the fact that Canada is involved in so many missions in so many parts of the world is a challenge.[122]

Some countries overcome this problem by developing a niche area of the world to focus on:

“Senator Kenny: The Australians described having a little corner of the world in which they specialized and that was their contribution to the other countries; U.S., U.K., New Zealand, and Canada. They added what Canada lacked was a niche where it could have a specialty.

Would you care to comment on that?

Major-General Gauthier: A way to explain it is that their geography and our geography are different. We have Canadian Forces deployed in three different countries in Africa and I could go on, 17 different missions, and 1,400 people today which is a relatively low number for us. They do not have nearly that diversity of deployment.

Without criticizing the Australians, I have respect for what they do as a military and their intelligence function also, we just do not have the luxury of being able to narrow our focus in the same way they do.”[123]

Perhaps Canada’s military will be granted the opportunity to narrow its focus. In its International Policy Paper, the government did announce its intention to concentrate on a reduced number of failed or failing states. This would help, but only in conjunction with an expanded intelligence capacity.

No role is more essential in the modern war.

 

An Uncertain and Under-Resourced Future

 

More trained intelligence personnel will be needed. The number of trained intelligence officers emerging from the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence does not match current or future demand.

 

The ongoing structural changes within the Canadian Forces add an additional measure of uncertainty as to how much intelligence capacity will be needed within Canada Command, Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command and the Special Operations Group.   

 

5. Information Technology

 

The Department of National Defence, which obviously needs effective information management systems, suffers from a lack of centralized control and systems standardization.

 

There is an array of “siloed” systems at the technical level. These are separate proprietary computer systems, owned by either the Department as a whole or by components like the Navy, Army or the Air Force. Their critical flaw is that they can’t “talk” to each other.

 

Mr. Dan Ross, Assistant Deputy Minister Information Management, told the Committee in February 2005, that it would be extremely costly to update these systems in terms of improved capacity and inoperability. It is difficult to imagine how significant progress toward integration can be make without doing so. According to Ross:

 

“Right now … we cannot enter that information on spare parts and have it come up for, say, the deputy chief of defence staff or the commander of the army, and he would know what the availability of his Coyote spare parts are, and in a similar way know where those soldiers who are trained with those skills are available, and in what units, and when they had come back from their last mission….

 

“… Many of our national systems actually do not talk to each other, and what you are then doing is forcing that local commander, that deployed commander, to have multiple terminals to try to get his people information, his spare parts information, his ammunition and re-supply are all on different pipelines. The pipelines do not talk to each other in the way that they should, or in the way that we want them to.”[124]

 

In his 2005-2006 impact statement to the Chief of the Defence Staff, Ross said that last year alone he was facing a $28 million shortfall in terms of what he would need to complete the information management and technology tasks assigned to him.

 

The net effect: a less efficient and less capable Canadian Forces.

 

6. Maritime Security Operations Centres

 

The Canadian Forces are in the process of improving their Recognized Maritime Picture to track vessels moving off our East and West coasts, as well as on the Great Lakes. The picture will be compiled at Marine Security Operations Centres on both coasts. During the course of this review, the Committee visited both current (interim) facilities.

The picture of what is occurring on our coasts has improved since the  first reported on it in 2002.[125] But there is still a long way to go.

 

The Challenges

 

1.     Fixing the Picture

 

The scale of the challenge is enormous. Off British Columbia alone there are thousands of pleasure boats moving along the coast in addition to a flotilla of commercial shipping and cruise ships.

 

The East Coast is just as complex. HMCS TRINITY – the East Coast operations centre in Halifax– is monitoring more than 200 unknown contacts a day as well as approximately 12-20 vessels of interest which may present a threat. As one officer in Halifax described it, “We’re trying to identify blades of grass, to find a needle in a haystack.”

 

The Committee heard that pieces are missing from what should be a centralized data system. For example, the Department of National Defence does not automatically receive information from the Canada Border Services Agency and/or Transport Canada about vessels that have announced their intention to approach the coasts. These announcements are required by regulations that came into effect in 2003. Similarly, on the West Coast at least, National Defence does not receive any information from piloting authorities that are escorting vessels through harbours. Both of these sets of data would help assemble a better overall intelligence picture.

 

2.     Establishing Operating Procedures

 

The Committee was told on both coasts that as the operations centres grow and incorporate more personnel, someone is going to have to figure out who is in charge in the event of a crisis.

 

One officer told the Committee that protocols in the event of a crisis remain unresolved. It could be unclear who is “driving the bus.”

 

3.     Continued Development

 

Despite Government declarations about the creation of the Maritime Security Operations Centres last Spring, the concept of functioning inter-departmental facilities on both coasts is still a long way from completion. In Esquimalt, only the RCMP and DND are at the table. In Halifax, the situation did not appear to be much more advanced. Neither the East nor the West Coasts are in their permanent facilities yet – the West Coast is scheduled to break ground on theirs in 2008.

 

Full Operational Capability for the Centres (new buildings, Command and Control system and equipment, Information Management, a full complement of personnel) for the Centres is not expected until the end of the decade.

 

4.     The Great Lakes and Canada’s Major Rivers

 

It is important to note that while there has been demonstrable progress on both the East Coast and West Coast, the Committee has seen no movement by any government department toward creating a Maritime Security Operations Centre so Canada can develop an operational picture of activity on the Great Lakes.


 PART III: STRATEGIC CHALLENGES

 

We have made the case that the Canadian Forces lack some of the personnel and equipment they require to generate the type of military capabilities that Canadians are entitled to. Most of the blame for this lies at the feet of governments current and past, all to ready to squeeze the armed forces financially whenever budgets need tightening. But there are flaws in the Canadian Forces that don’t have a lot to do with finances.

 

This part of the report will examine eight of them. Money may be a small part of the problem for some of them, but for most, it’s more a matter of changing attitudes and improving the way things work:

 

1.     Bureaucratization

 

2.     Political Influence

 

3.     Recruitment – Structural Challenge

 

4.     Recruitment and Retention – Organizational Challenge

 

5.     Quality of Life

 

6.     Procurement

 

7.     Interference from other Government Departments

 

8.     Communicating with Canadians

 

 

1. Bureaucratization

 

While the Canadian Forces were shrinking at the end of the 1990s, the bureaucracy within the Department of National Defence was growing, particularly on the civilian side. But it wasn’t just a question of more civilians in high places in relation to the number of military personnel Military personnel still filled important positions, but over the years they were becoming more incorporated into the bureaucratic structure. It became apparent to some in the Minister’s office that bureaucratic process was beginning to get a stranglehold on production.

 

Concerned about the quality (and cost) of the bureaucracy at NDHQ, the Minister of National Defence set up the 2003 Advisory Committee on Administrative Efficiency to look into the problem.

 

Reporting in August 2003, the Advisory Committee observed that the responsibilities and accountabilities of senior NDHQ management were too diffuse, that there was too much emphasis on process rather than production, and that NDHQ had begun to rely extensively on consensus as a decision-making philosophy. Incrementalism was winning out over decisive action.[126]

 

There was also a lack of understanding about who was responsible for what – the command structure so essential to any military was becoming muddled at Department of National Defence Headquarters.

 

 

COMMITTEE’S TRANSLATION: A military – even an under-funded military – is supposed to roar like a lion.  But the DND bureaucracy was beginning to look more like a flock of lambs.

 

The Advisory Committee recommended a thorough review of NDHQ to examine its fundamental role and identify the responsibilities of each staff group, and to ensure that “resources allocated are appropriate to the results achieved.”

 

The Advisory Committee was clearly calling onthe Department to focus on product, not process!

 

The main result of the Advisory Committee’s recommendations appear to have been some cost cutting – rather than a revolution in decision-making – which is perhaps what the Minister’s office was most intent on getting in the first place.

 

Then Gen. Hillier took over. Insiders say the Advisory Committee’s recommendations have largely drifted into the background, supplanted by his new focus on transforming the military into a modern fighting force.

 

It may be that the General’s style is what the Advisory Committee was looking for in the first place. So far he has sounded like a lion. Time will tell.

 

2. Political Influence

 

In western democracies, politicians always have the last say on major military decisions. And that is how it should be. To borrow an example from south of the border, United States Army General Douglas MacArthur served brilliantly in the First and Second World Wars, and again in the Korean War.  But when he squabbled publicly with President Harry S. Truman over whether to attack China, the president had no choice but to relieve him of his command.

 

A less well known but more recent example of the same happened in Canada when, contrary to the advice of the Chief of Defence Staff, the Minister of National Defence disbanded the Canadian Airborne Regiment.

 

Elected politicians rightly have the last word on major military decisions, but politics often wrongly gets in the way of the military using its resources in the wisest ways.

 

Consider the long and tortuous delay in replacing the antiquated Sea King helicopters.

 

Using maritime helicopters innovatively had been one of Canada’s claims to fame in the international military community – Canada had been the first to show that the Sea Kings could be flown off destroyers and frigates involved in antisubmarine warfare by reeling the helicopters in through the use of a Canadian invention – the Helicopter Hauldown and Rapid Securing Device, better known as the Beartrap.[127]

 

But the fact that Canada started out ahead of other nations didn’t mean that it wasn’t falling badly behind in the 1990s, as the Sea Kings, designed with 1950s technology and acquired around 1963, began to deteriorate. Not only had they become obsolete, they required far too many hours of maintenance for every hour they spent in the air.

 

The decision to replace them should have been based on need plus intelligent analysis of the options available to replace them. Instead the issue became a political football over costs.  In the end, Canadians have been forced to wait a decade and a half for reasonable replacements while pilots took risks with outdated equipment that they should not have had to take.

 

Was the original $4.7 billion purchase price too high? That’s an argument for the ages. Taxpayers still ended up paying nearly half a billion dollars in penalties when the contract was cancelled, getting nothing for their money. Meanwhile the capabilities of both the Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Navy has been diminished for far too long a time. And Canadians are still waiting.

 

Often there are compassionate or nationalistic reasons for questionable contracts: a region badly in need of jobs, or a company with high tech expertise that has fallen on hard times. This is how the Challenger executive jets could get purchased through a contract put together on a frenzied weekend, when purchases of true importance to the military can take years. That is how some companies, like Western Star Trucks, have been known to be kept out of the loop as to exactly what is needed to win the contract, costing the Government more when the contract is awarded to someone else.

 

Pork at Home

 

Governments can, and do, undermine Canada’s military capacities for political reasons. But so do individual politicians. Most, if not all, of these people are well-meaning in terms of providing jobs and spin-offs for people benefiting from military bases in various communities across Canada, but the truth of the matter is that some of these bases should not exist.

 

In the end, these politicians are faux friends of the military, because they prevent honest debate about the utility of facilities and they perpetuate the spending with no military purpose. Sometimes these faux friends are from the governing party; sometimes from the opposition. Sometimes the pressure is simply applied relentlessly over time, and sometimes it’s a commitment dragged in the heat of an election campaign to help win one more seat in the House of Commons. This is how remote military runways get paved even though use of the airfield has gone into steep decline.

 

That is how every time someone points out that a military base, or a Reserve barracks, is redundant there always seems to be pressure from parliamentarians from that part of the country insisting that pork-barreling is a small price to pay for national unity.

 

Those type of comments are generally followed by others about this region or that not getting its “fair share” of defence spending.

 

There is no question that some parts of Canada need more help than others, but why does the money so often come from the Department of National Defence budget? If a town needs regional development, the money should come from a regional development budget, not a military budget. If a company needs short-term help, the money should come from an Industry Canada loan – not a quickie contract serving questionable needs.

 

Canada’s military brass don’t do a lot of public complaining about these misdirected funds. Nor do they comment publicly on which bases they believe are militarily valuable and which are redundant. Some will complain about misallocated resources off the record, but how are Canadians going to get an honest assessment if our military leaders can’t or won’t give an honest appraisal on the record?

 

3. Recruitment as Structural Challenge

 

The Canadian Forces are exceptionally weak in certain trades. The forces struggle to keep up with the natural attrition rate of personnel. Current recruitment and growth plans are challenged by low budgets and stringent advertising rules.  All these factors are complicated by the demographic bulge of older people moving through our population, causing experience gaps as senior workers retire.

 

Critical and Stressed Trades

 

From time to time, for various reasons, military trades are not staffed by as many people as they are authorized to have. The trade may be temporarily unpopular, the commercial market may pay better, or a new operation or change in the way operations are conducted may suddenly place a demand for more people than are readily available.

 

When a particular trade has a significant shortage of people, various things may happen. First, in under-strength trades the Canadian Forces will not be able to fill all the positions required, leaving some units with less capability. A ship may not have all the maintenance personnel it should, or an aircraft squadron might not have all the pilots it is entitled to. The capability of that ship or squadron will be diminished as a result. Alternately, those personnel who are working in an under-strength trade could be overworked to make up for the lack of trained people. While some extra work comes with the territory, chronic overwork leads to burn-out. Another effect is that military personnel in an under-strength trade may be required to deploy on dangerous overseas operations more often than others. More frequent rotation overseas, coupled with an increased workload at home, can quickly erode morale and family life. It can also lead to a death spiral in terms of the Forces’ overall capability.

Brigadier-General J.R. Gaston Côté, Commanding Officer of the Army in Quebec, described just how taxed the system had become in the 1990s:

“Some years we had up to 4,200 people deployed at all times outside the country. It was completely impossible to sustain that. …

We have some extremely brilliant non-commissioned officers and officers in our ranks. We spoke with a sergeant who had carried out seven missions in 12 years of service. Each mission lasted about six months and required three to four months of training away from this person's home, not to mention the career courses he was supposed to be taking. Over 12 years, this amounts to about seven years … away from home.

We thought that the sergeant in question would remain with the battalion, but he asked to be transferred to a place where he would not be deployed, precisely to take a break.”[128]

 

“Critical” trades are those with too few people to fill all the positions. “Stressed” trades apply to trades with both a critical shortage and a high operational deployment rate.

 

Response once a trade fits into one of these categories is not enough ­­– anticipation is of the essence. Once a trade reaches these categories it can take years to return to adequate staffing because of the time it takes to recruit and train new personnel. Both types are carefully monitored to allow recruiters to go after replacements.

 

There are other trades designated as ‘hard to recruit.’ For example, pilots are currently defined as “hard to recruit” and the Canadian Forces have not met their quota of pilot recruits for the last two years. This important trade does not yet qualify as “stressed.”  However, if, in the next few years more pilots are not recruited, the trade could move into the “critical’ category, and if serving pilots are deployed to operations too often, it could quickly become “stressed.”

 

In 2005, “hard to recruit” trades included naval technicians, signalers, pilots, medical officers, maritime operations specialists, pharmacists among others. When the situation is critical the Canadian Forces launches a special effort aimed at recruiting people for that role. For example, the Canadian Forces is currently targeting medical doctors, offering a signing bonus of up to $250,000.[129]

 

Recruitment Treads Water

 

By definition, any country’s military is a fluid operation when it comes to personnel. Military operations are physically demanding and primarily the purview of the young. Fluidity means endless attrition and replacement, unless a military is in financial retreat and forced to cut back on personnel, as the Canadian Forces were in the 1990s and early 2000s.

 

For the period April 1–June 30, 2004 the Canadian Forces enrolled 1,055 Regular Force and 1,658 Reserve Force personnel for a total of 2,713.[130] During the same period in 2005, they recruited 1,010 Regular Force and 1,786 Reserve Force personnel for a total of 2,796.[131] Clearly the government’s announced plan to increase the size of Canada’s armed forces is off to a rocky start, given that the Strategic Intake Plan called for approximately 20 per cent higher intake in the 2005-2006 fiscal year.[132] Off the top, they are about 500 to 600 short of the number they wanted.

 

The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff told us in late December 2004 that it would take about five years to fully recruit and train the additional 5,000 regulars and 3,000 reserves that the new government had promised during the 2004 election campaign.[133] In June 2005, the Chief of the Defence Staff testified that the bulk of new recruits would come on board in the third, fourth and fifth year of the program.[134] He said that it would be the beginning of 2009 before the full 8,000 would be in uniform.

 

Your Armed Forces Want YOU . . . Pass It On!

 

Recruiting large numbers of competent people for the military very much depends on advertising. Recruiting for the “bubble” will be complicated by the fact that there has been little advertising done over the past decade, because downsizing was the watchword, not upsizing. Recruiting mechanisms ground to a halt.

 

To recruit large numbers of competent people for the military you need plenty of advertising. Recruiting for the “bubble” will be complicated by the fact that there has been little advertising done over the past decade, when downsizing was the watchword, not upsizing. Recruiting mechanisms ground to a halt.

 

Anyone familiar with the fallout of the Gomery Commission will also know that the federal government has not been doing a lot of advertising over the past year.  The odor of the Sponsorship Program contracts continues to waft through the Ottawa air, and government advertising has become complicated. Following the 2003 Auditor General's report, the ground rules for federal advertising have become much more restrictive. Despite the government’s commitment to expand the armed forces, DND has not been exempted from time-consuming new advertising processes.

 

The Canadian Forces did some minimal recruitment advertising early in 2005, with dated material, and this muted effort produced the kinds of results that might have been expected: a drop in the number of applicants. According to the Department, “With the reduction in applicants over the past year or so, the ratio of applicants to enrollees has dropped to closer to 1 to 1 [from 2.5 to 1].”[135] There may be other factors involved, but this trend is likely to persist until the recruiting campaign becomes more compelling.

 

Here are two Government priorities then: reform advertising procedures in the wake of the Sponsorship Scandal, and rejuvenate Canada’s armed forces. They are both reasonable priorities, but they are working against each other. The military desperately needs innovative new recruiting advertising to attract new personnel, but the government’s new system of centralizing advertising contracts in the Privy Council Office has left the Forces using stale, outdated ads that aren’t likely to do the trick.

 

The Demographics of the Forces

 

You can’t do much about demographics, but they sure are getting in the way of expanding the military. The size of the Canadian Forces target demographic group (youth 16-34) is in decline, and things are just going to keep getting worse between now and 2020.[136] That means there will be fewer people from which to draw recruits from. At the other end, baby boomers are leaving the scene, taking their skills with them.

 

4. Recruitment and Retention – The Organizational   Challenge

 

Beyond all these structural problems, the Committee heard far too many stories about recruiting foul-ups.

 

Anecdotes abound about how qualified candidates have been thwarted in their efforts to sign on. These are probably exceptions to the rule – nobody bothers with the good stories of eager recruits getting into uniform in lickety-split fashion, But there are enough of the other kinds of stories to make it clear to us that the system could be improved. Good people are hard to come by. You don’t want to miss out on any of them.

 

Today’s Canadian Forces recruiting process is a complex transaction between the applicant and the institution that involves an array of rules and regulations.

 

Delays are most often caused by snags in security and medical clearances, as well as the lack of an opening in an applicant’s desired military trade and/or a lack availability training slots for recruits going into that trade.

 

On 21 February 2005, Vice-Admiral Greg Jarvis, the head of Canadian Forces military personnel management told the Committee that, “We . . . reduced the recruit processing time from 60 days to 35 days for applicants who do not have medical or security issues.”[137]

 

But delays persist, causing confusion and frustration for many.

 

The Perfect Candidate

 

According to the Canadian Forces, the system has been refined to the point that a “perfect” candidate for the Regulars or Reserves can be processed in 30 days. That recruit is someone who provides all the necessary documentation (identity, citizenship, education and medical), has no medical issues, has a clean and easily verifiable background, is physically fit and is applying for a military trade that has vacancies both in the occupation and on the training courses required. Sadly, Canadian Forces statistics show that only about three per cent of applicants fall into this category[138].

 

The following story is a bit long, but not nearly as long as the process this would-be recruit to the Reserves went through. It is at the bad end of dozens of stories Committee members heard in their travels that told of lost files, inefficient or incorrect processing, and duplicated effort).

 

Consider this 10-month process:

 

The young man in question submitted his completed application form to a Naval Reserve unit. Weeks passed. He heard nothing.  He phoned regularly, but his calls were almost invariably forwarded to answering machines. Eventually, the unit recruiting officer, new to the job, said that the application package had been sent to the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre to be processed. 

 

When the applicant contacted the Centre, he was told that his application had been shunted to a Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Detachment closer to his home town.

 

More weeks passed. Our young man still had no idea where his application was, or who to contact.  Finally, the applicant got a call. He was told to come to the Recruiting Detachment to complete aptitude and fitness tests.  Since this Recruiting Detachment was a militia unit, the recruiter had assumed that the applicant wanted to enroll in the Army Reserve. But you will recall that the young man had originally applied at a Naval Reserve unit, and had indicated on his application that he wanted to sign up with the Navy Reserve. After he had been tested, the young man was told to wait for a phone call (that would come in two or three weeks) to set up an interview. 

 

Once again, weeks passed. In the meantime, the applicant had moved to another city. He was careful to contact his home town Recruiting Detachment, informing them of his move location and requested that his application be sent over to the Recruiting Centre closest to him.

 

The young man heard nothing for two months. When he visited the Recruiting Centre in his new city, there was no record of his application. A phone call was placed to the applicant’s home town Recruiting Detachment. Nothing happened for two more weeks.

 

Finally, six months after the applicant had moved to a new city – and eight months after he had originally applied ­– the young man received a phone call from a Recruiting Centre staffer who told the applicant that he had to resubmit all his enrolment information because he needed a new background check.

 

Much to his surprise, the applicant also learned that he was being processed as a Regular Force applicant, rather than a Reservist.

 

Several appointments were set up for interviews. All were cancelled. Finally, one was not. In this one, he was told that although he met the standards and could be enrolled, his physical fitness test results had expired. He would have to take them again. When an opening came up two weeks later, he did this.

 

The system began to hit high gear. Only days later, the young man (actually nearly a year older now) received a phone call from the local Naval Reserve unit.  He was asked to come in for an orientation. He had persisted. He was in the Naval Reserve!

 

Red Tape Like Barbed Wire

 

If the federal bureaucracy often impedes the Canadian Forces’ efforts to improve its capabilities, there is no shortage of bureaucratic red tape inside the organization to make things even worse.

 

Consider transfers from Reserve Forces to the Regular Forces.

 

A staff check of completed component transfer records for fiscal year 2004-2005 produced the following information.

  • 6 % of transfers from the Reserves to the Regular Force were completed in less than 120 days;

  • 60 % of transfers from the Reserves to the Regular Force were completed between 121 days and 1 year; and,

  • 34 % of transfers from the Reserves to the Regular Force took more than 1 year.

 

Assistant Deputy Minister for Human Resources (Military) Vice-Admiral Greg Jarvis told the Committee there appears to be something off in the system, testifying:

 

“I do acknowledge that currently we are averaging, on a component transfer, about 12 months. Our goal is to reduce that to 90 days.”[139]

 

It takes – on average – a year to go from one part of the Canadian Forces to another part. Reducing that process by three-quarters is a good goal, but one that would represent a sea change.

 

On March 8, 2005, the Commanding Officer of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment, a militia unit, testified “... it is easier to join the Australian army online than it is to transfer into the regular army here, and you get a higher equivalency, and quicker.”[140] Our jaws dropped open. His claim seemed far-fetched. But wait . . . this story is even longer, but then, it takes a long time to get to Australia.

 

In January 2004, a Canadian Army Reserve Lieutenant-Colonel, serving in the Armoured Corps, resigned from the Canadian Forces and enrolled in the Australian Army. He now holds the rank of Major. In his sixteen years of Canadian service, most of which was on full-time duty, he worked in a wide variety of capacities, including a tour as an armoured troop leader in Bosnia, and as the lone Canadian liaison officer in Baghdad, in 2003.

 

Prior to leaving Canada, this man twice attempted to transfer from the Army Reserve to the Regular Force. The first time, in 1998, he was a 31-year old a four year Captain, having just completed an operational tour of duty in Bosnia. He followed all the rules and applied through a local Recruiting Centre. He had positive letters of reference from senior serving and retired General officers. He heard nothing for four months. He finally badgered the Recruiting Centre for a response. He was told that his file had been closed because he did not have enough education.

 

According to a clerk at the recruiting office, the Captain needed another mathematics course to join the Canadian Forces as an officer (which he already was in the Reserves) and furthermore – should he ever resign – he wouldn't be educationally qualified to re-enroll in the Reserves as an Officer Cadet.

 

So he enrolled in the Canadian University Program to upgrade his education. After a few years of part-time studies towards a BA degree he had also obtained the required mathematics course. In 2001, he once again requested a transfer from the Reserves to the Regular Force. 

 

Now a 34-year old Major, this Canadian Army Reserve officer contacted both the Recruiting Centre (for processing), the Director of Army Training (to verify qualification equivalencies), and both the Director of Armour and the Armoured Officer Career Advisor (for details on initial postings and career prospects).

 

To no avail. The Recruiting Centre informed him that while he was at school the Canadian Forces had raised the academic bar even higher.  A full degree was now required. Further, he was told that even with a degree, he would not be assigned to a regiment or other posting until he had completed second-language training.

 

The Director of Army Training insisted that, despite the fact that he had commanded a Regular Force troop on operations, the Major’s Reserve qualifications were insufficient. Although he would be granted an equivalency for Basic Officer Training, he would have to complete Regular Force Armoured officer training and qualify on the current Regular Force armoured vehicles (Leopard tank and Coyote surveillance vehicle) before being accepted for regular duty.

 

Furthermore, the Director of Armour and the Career Advisor told him that it would be unlikely that he would ever reach the rank of Major in the Regular Force.

 

If he were eventually accepted into the Regular Force, they said, he would likely serve in positions such as a unit Transportation Officer or equivalents, not in operational combat command roles. They added that despite his “Outstanding” evaluation reports from senior Regular Force officers and his operational experience, he probably couldn’t compete. It was unlikely he would be considered for one of the “top three” Captain’s positions in the unit that are usually a stepping stone to promotion.

 

In 2003, the Army Reserve Major, still only 35, was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. He was sent as the sole CF representative to V Corps (US) in Baghdad. His performance was good enough to represent Canada in a large U.S. Army formation conducting combat operations in a war-fighting theatre of operations. But it wasn’t sufficient to qualify him as an officer in the Canadian Regular Force Army.

 

He then successfully negotiated a transfer to the Armoured Corps of the Australian Regular Army, where he began his new career in January 2005, with the rank of Major. In January, 2006 he will assume the duties of Regimental Second-in-Command of an Australian Regular Force Armoured Corps regiment.

 

The Canadian Forces will continue to cry out for good people in the years to come. But sometimes they seem to be crying with their eyes closed.

 

Why Transfers Can Take Time

 

Why does a transfer from the Reserves to the Regular Force take 32 per cent longer, on average, than a normal recruitment?

 

There appear to be a number of impediments to the component transfer process, not the least of which is the apparently self-imposed Canadian Forces prohibition on the transfer of service and medical records between the Reserves and the Regular Force.

 

This just aggravates the primary delay factor: determining where the Reserve applicant might fit in the Regular Force. Unlike a normal recruit, the applicant already has a rank and has at least some training – in some cases, training that is nearly equal to Regular Force training.

 

That he or she has this training, however, must be established. And this is where things often get bogged down. First, not all Regular Force and Reserve Force qualifications are easily matched, despite historical efforts to make them so. Next, it has to be determined exactly what qualifications the applicant actually possesses. Although more effective record sharing would help here, there are often also problems with the accuracy and completeness of the records maintained at some Reserve units. Vice-Admiral Jarvis told the Committee that ongoing automation of personnel records will help speed up this stage of the process. Once an individual’s actual qualifications are confirmed, an offer of transfer can be made.

 

This offer is often followed by discussion and negotiations between the applicant and the Canadian Forces, adding more time. In short, the establishment of common standards between the Regular Force and the Reserve Force, the diligent maintenance of service records at all Reserve bases, and a process that would seamlessly transfer these service records would greatly enhance the opportunity to transfer between the Regular Force and the Reserves.

 

This assumes the Canadian Forces attaching some measure of priority to this problem, and putting some of their best people into the recruiting process.  Recruiting may not be the most glamorous job in the military, but it is going to be one of the most crucial over the next decade.

 

5.  Quality of Life

 

After querying people of all ranks across the country, the Committee is pleased to conclude that the days of some military families having to go to food banks to make ends meet is an ugly memory. It may still happen now and then, but not because military personnel are being underpaid they way they were in the 1990s...

 

Salaries and other quality of life issues, however, require constant vigilance. It would be a disgrace to slip back into a penurious period like the 1990s when we made life so hard for people serving their country.

 

Some quality of life issues persist, most notably: adequate access to family doctors for military dependents and the negative impact of too many “nights out of bed” on personnel and their families.

Access to Health Care

Too many military families are having trouble gaining access to health care. The lack of available family doctors is that much harder on military personnel and their families because of the frequency with which they move and the requirement to establish new relationships with doctors.

This can really be a problem at more remote bases. For example, at CFB Cold Lake, located about 300 kilometers northeast of Edmonton, there is no longer specialist medical treatment available. The result, according to base and wing commander Colonel C.S. Sullivan, is referrals to Edmonton for treatment and consequently, lost work days. According to Colonel Duff Sullivan, “In 2003, almost 2,000 military medical referrals were made to specialist clinics in Edmonton, resulting in almost 2,200 work days lost.”[141]

It isn’t a Cold Lake problem only. Captain (N) MacIsaac confirmed this was an ongoing challenge at CFB Halifax for military families in Nova Scotia as well.[142] Lisa Salley, executive director of the Kingston Military Family Resource Centre and, a military spouse, provided an example of the type of story the  heard nation-wide:

“A young corporal and his wife, who was eight months pregnant, moved to Kingston. They already had one three-year-old son who has various health issues that need to be monitored every six months. They have moved three times in the past eight years. The wife had never been able to secure a physician until she became pregnant with her second child.

They had to find a house. [Military housing] is not an option, as the child is allergic to mildew and mould. They had six days to find a house and the wife was unable to go on a house-hunting trip because she experienced some minor complications and the physician did not want her to fly. The wife was unable to secure work because she was eight months pregnant when she moved here.

Much has been done for military families. We recognize that. Military families are fairly resilient. We see it every day as they come through our doors into the centre. However, when you are told when you move here to Kingston — and this is happening throughout Canada … — that there is a two-year waiting list to see a physician, that is a scary situation for military families moving from place to place. We have had families whose children have not seen a [family] physician in eight years. They have gone to walk-in clinics.

 

A whole host of issues and concerns arise from that, because if you have a child with some kind of developmental issue and that child is seeing a different physician every time, even a great physician will not necessarily pick up those problems.”[143]

Language can also be a complicating factor. A significant percentage of military personnel are francophones. In New Brunswick, the Committee was told that it is a challenge for francophone military families at CFB Gagetown to find French-speaking family doctors.[144] Ironically, this is the only officially bilingual province in Canada. Bilingualism is central to the identity of the country these people are serving, and there is nowhere that a person is more desperate to hear his or her own language than in a hospital. This shouldn’t be happening.

The Committee acknowledges that the provision of health care is a provincial responsibility. However, the federal government – because of sacrifice being made by Canadian Forces personnel and the turbulence being imposed on their lives – has a duty to ensure greater access to health care for military dependents.

Nights Out of Bed

The hectic tempo at which Canadian personnel have been deployed in recent years has resulted in an increase in medical disabilities in the military. But it isn’t just foreign assignments that keep personnel out of their own beds and away from their families. Personnel coming home from a deployment get down time right away, but are often required to deploy again soon thereafter. The scenario, as described by Colonel Timothy J. Grant, Commander, 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, Edmonton, is:

 

When they first come back, they are protected for about a 90-day period. As the 90 days go on, we make them more and more available to additional taskings and deployments away from their home station. Because there are demands in the training system, once they are out of that 90-day window, a lot of these individuals who have spent two months in preparation for a deployment away from their families and six months during the deployment, are then sent off to tasks in Wainwright, Shilo or perhaps as far away as Gagetown.

 

The challenge these soldiers have when they go to a place like Gagetown and are away from home to teach on a two- or three-month course is that there are no benefits. They do not get the benefits they would get overseas, but they are away from their families. The challenge there is dealing with the stresses on the families while they are away on tasks inside Canada.”[145]

 

This was an issue that came up at every sit-down the Committee had with personnel from Esquimalt to St. John’s, in all three services. This problem will never be completely solved, but it can be mitigated.

 

6.  The Ponderous Pace of Procurement

 

Critical to maintaining updated armed forces is the ability to procure and maintain the equipment necessary to field modern military capability. Our military cannot serve Canadians well with equipment designed for yesterday’s conflicts and emergencies.

 

The Assistant Deputy Minister Materiel Acquisition and Support group in the Department of National Defence is the central service provider and authority for all materiel in the CF and DND. The military define their requirements. The Materiel Group takes these requirements and manages equipment through the cycle of procurement, maintenance and support, test and evaluation, moving and warehousing, and finally, disposal.

 

At the beginning of 2005 the assets under Materiel Group’s control were valued at $21.8 billion and their inventory at $5.4 billion.[146] Materiel Group spends approximately $1.5 billion a year on acquiring new assets and a similar amount to maintain and sustain these assets.

 

DND procurement is a process replete with problems, Allan Williams, the Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel), told the Committee in December 2004:

 

“Several years ago we conducted a study that showed that capital equipment projects were taking an average of 16 years to move from concept to project close down. This timeframe is totally unacceptable, particularly in light of the rapid changes in technology. We have committed to reducing acquisition time by at least 30 per cent and in the longer term by 50 per cent through a broad range of initiatives.” [147]

 

If the Assistant Deputy Minister’s wildest dreams are fulfilled, it will still take eight years to get a piece of capital equipment up and running. And nobody’s wildest dreams are ever fulfilled in the federal bureaucracy.

 

The 2003 Report of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Administrative Efficiency found, among other things, that DND’s internal process for defining requirements and approving capital projects (accounting for nine out of the 14-16 year average for acquiring major equipment) is too long.

 

It said there were too many reviews, wasting too much senior management time for little value added. The report produced a typical project timeline:

 

Step

WHAT HAPPENS

Typical Duration

1

Military identifies the need, move to preliminary approval[148]

3 years and 8 months

2

Move from preliminary approval to effective approval

4 years and 1 month

3

From effective approval to contract award

1 year and 2 months

4

From contract award to initial delivery

1 year

5

From initial delivery to full operating capability

4 years and 10  months

6

From full operating capability to closeout

1 year

 

TOTAL

15 years and 9 months

 

Then Assistant Deputy Minister Allan Williams testified to the Committee that he agreed there is a lot of wheel-spinning in the department at the beginning of the procurement process. Williams said:

 


 “ . . .  Of the 16 years, approximately nine years were being taken for the military to define their requirements and for my organization, with support from Public Works and Government Services Canada and Industry Canada, to conduct the procurement process culminating in the signing of a contract….

 

A year ago the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and I agreed that this length of time could be reduced from nine years to four years — two years to produce the requirements and two years to produce the specifications and award the contract. Accordingly, we have issued new standards to this effect.”[149]

 

While the Committee was in Halifax, Rear-Admiral Dan McNeil, Commander, Maritime Forces Atlantic, and Commodore Tyrone Pile, Commander of the Maritime Fleet Atlantic, spoke of the military’s frequent need to move more quickly than other departments:

“Rear-Admiral McNeil: The conventional way of buying things, having to go through Public Works and Government Services and ensuring regional benefits — and it goes on and on and on — means that we cannot seem to build a ship without 25 years' notice.

The Second World War only lasted six years and the navy went from something like three ships to 300. Things can get done, but not with the levels of bureaucracy that seem to exist and are applied without exception to defence issues and Canadian Forces issues . . .

The Chairman: Commodore, you sometimes have a different opinion from the admiral. You can also sometimes fill in the gaps. You have been silent. Can you add anything to this?

Commodore Pile: Without sticking my neck out too far, I will say that our procurement system needs to be addressed. As the admiral has very succinctly stated, we cannot afford to wait around for decades to replace ships that are quickly becoming obsolescent and other ships that are obsolete, and we can do a better job.

I understand why government policies and regulations are in place. They are there to protect the Canadian taxpayers' money, and we want to make sure that it is spent properly. However, there are better, common sense ways of doing business.”[150]

Outside Interference

 

Military equipment is complex, so purchasing military equipment is a complex procedure in itself. But when the procedure is forced to march through the swampland that is the federal government’s procurement system, slow and cumbersome become inadequate adjectives. The federal procurement system is overburdened with reviews and duplication of effort across many different agencies.

 

Instead of disciplining managers for wrongful expenditures of money, the bureaucratic instinct is to react to any abuse by stuffing more red tape into the system. Things stop getting done, or take inordinate amounts of time to get done.

 

This would be counterproductive in any government department. It is intolerable at the Department of National Defence.

 

The Advisory Committee on Administrative Efficiencies concluded that the current split in mandate between DND and PWGSC for the acquisition of goods and services results in the inefficient use of government resources. Significant duplication of effort exists within the procurement activities performed by employees in DND and PWGSC. In fact, recognition of the involvement of both departments is documented in PWGSC's Supply Policy Manual, which includes a memorandum of understanding on the division of responsibilities between the two departments for the acquisition of goods and services. According to this document, there are 49 sub-activities in the process and both departments are involved in almost 80 percent of those activities.[151]

 

This duplication is largely due to the fact that the governance structure for procurement holds both the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of PWGSC accountable for procurement. Department of National Defence is required to ensure that the Canadian Forces has the resources (people and equipment, etc.) required to fulfill its mandate, whereas the Minister of PWGSC has the legal mandate to acquire goods and services for all government departments, including Defence. It is also a fact that it is usually the MND or his officials, rather than those of Public Works and Government Services Canada, who are required to appear before Parliament, Parliamentary Committees, the Auditor General and others to address issues that arise from the procurement of military equipment. Yet, both Ministers are required to present separate submissions to the Treasury Board for approval of projects or contracts exceeding their authority. This dual accountability structure has created a situation where both departments have numerous employees involved in the same acquisition process, and this inevitably leads to duplication of activity.

   

Another government agency, Treasury Board, also sticks an oar in the acquisition process. The Minister of National Defence has Treasury Board authority to approve the expenditure of funds on capital equipment projects up to $30 million and construction projects up to $60 million.[152] The high costs of many projects means that they have to be submitted to Treasury Board for approval and with Treasury Board only sitting periodically and when only so many projects can be on the agenda then administrative delay in the order of months can occur. There are 61 DND projects fighting their way through this slow and meandering maze at the moment.

 

The Canadian Forces have a mandate to protect Canadians and advance their interests internationally. No department has a more powerful, vital mandate. The tools the Canadian Forces need to fulfil that mandate are extremely complex, and taking too long to acquire them can leave them outdated before they wear out. If they are replaced once they are outdated, large sums of taxpayers money get wasted because they are not yet worn out. If they are used after they are outdated, Canadians are not being afforded the protection they deserve. Developing a shorter procurement process for the Department of National Defence would be akin to offering Canadians a better national insurance policy for lower premiums.

 

Then again, DND has been known to create its own slow lanes. The obsession for perfection should not outweigh being content with excellence if it is going to get the Forces mobilized in time to deal with emergencies.

Canada has a mid-sized armed forces (or should have). It is difficult to think of what pieces of equipment that it might need that our allies aren’t using.

 

7. Interference of Other Government Departments

 

National Defence’s $14 billion budget sounds like a lot of money, but not all that money goes to putting soldiers, sailors and air crew into the field. The Canadian military has some of that money diverted to programs that are undoubtedly good for Canada in general, but don’t have much to do with the military.

 

Take La Citadelle in Quebec. It houses a battalion of the Royal 22e Régiment (the Van Doos). It is also a historical site, and a major tourist attraction. Naturally, it needs repairs and restoration from time to time. Because of its historical status, any work done is costly and strictly regulated by the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office.

 

But who pays for the restoration? National Defence has already been forced to put in $20 million, and latest evaluations would have it come across with between $68.8 million and $73 million more, according to this year’s Impact Assessment for the Canadian Army.[153]

 

Is the Army happy about paying for the restoration of a tourist site? Hardly. The Statement makes that clear: “Land Forces Command does not have the resource flexibility to upgrade and maintain this national historic location… the pressure is beyond Land Forces Command to mitigate.”[154]

 

The Department has all kinds of financial responsibilities that have nothing to do with protecting Canadians, and as Major-General (Ret'd) Lewis Mackenzie testified to the  last fall, these add up:

 

“Government-directed programs are important. It can be sexual harassment, it can be sensitivity, it can be bilingualism; any number of grants-in-lieu-of-taxes is a big part of the bill. … By the time it gets down to the army, navy, air force and headquarters, you have less than 50 per cent of [the Department of National Defence’s budget] to run the military.”[155]

 

That percentage may be exaggerated, but General Mackenzie is right in one regard – $14 billion spent on Defence isn’t really $14 billion spent on defending Canadians and Canada’s interests.

 

In addition, Treasury Board insists that DND keep other departments in mind when it is spending money. If there is an expenditure that might impact on regional development, or aboriginals, or other components of national concern, National Defence is often forced to take more than military considerations into account before it proceeds. The House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs, in its 2000 Procurement Study Report, took a look inside this labyrinth:

 

“Under the Financial Administration Act, Treasury Board is authorized to make procurement policy, which governs departmental procurement in turn. Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) has the mandate to ensure the integrity of the purchasing process by applying policies and procedures which are fair, transparent and competitive. It has been the supply organization for the Department of National Defence for almost 60 years and acts as a separate centre of authority on contracting. The Department of National Defence, as the sponsoring department, is responsible for defining operational requirements and the day-to-day management of its procurements. Added to these is Industry Canada, which administers the government's industrial and regional benefits (IRBs) policy in concert with the regional agencies – the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Western Economic Diversification, and Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions [and the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario].The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) oversees the trade agreements that frame procurement within a liberalized international trade regime. …Still other departments can be involved in a single procurement, depending on the government's strategy. For example, if aboriginal business were a priority, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) would also have a say in how to proceed. An interdepartmental procurement strategy committee set up within government ensures that each interested department with its own agenda to pursue is represented, each answering to ‘a different master.’”

 

The military world is a complex place to make decisions. Set in the context of the federal bureaucracy, perhaps it is isn’t surprising that not every spending decision makes sense.

 

8. Communicating With Canadians

 

There is one final inhibitor: Lack of candor. It is an important one.

 

One of the primary reasons that Canadians armed forces are under-funded is that most Canadians do not understand how broad and important a role they play in protecting and improving our lives.

 

And one reason Canadians do not understand is that senior personnel in the Canadian military, for the most part, continue to muffle their words when they are asked simple questions like:

 

What role do you play in protecting Canadians and advancing their interests in the world?

 

What resources do you need that you don’t have in order to do your job in a way that doesn’t put undo stress on your organization or equipment?

 

For decades governments have been getting away with under-funding Canada’s military because Canadians don’t know the answers to those questions.

 

Much of the information that the Committee has been able to accumulate to demonstrate how badly the Canadian Forces are in need of additional funding has come from information requests and from visiting personnel in the field. Far too little of it has come from blunt testimony from military brass. There have been exceptions, but too many military leaders try to get away with “We’re a bit short, all right, but we scrape by.” How does that help the public gain any insights into whether our military has what it really needs to perform efficiently on their behalf?

 

In the last 10 months, the heads of the Army, Navy and Air Force have used almost the exact same words to fill us in on the impact of the funding shortfall of resources to their branch of the military:

 

“I will manage again as best I can with the resources I am given.” – Vice-Admiral Bruce MacLean, Chief of the Maritime Staff[156]

 

“I deal with the funds I am given. …” – Lieutenant-General Marc Caron, Chief of the Land Staff[157]

 

“We do the best with what we have. …We work hard to get the best out of what we have.”  – Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie, then Chief of the Air Staff[158]

 

None of them spoke of the loud alarms they raised with the Chief of Defence Staff in the annual impact statement they submit to outline the impact of the federal budget on their performance.

 

There are probably three guilty parties here:

 

  • bureaucratized military officers, who the Committee acknowledges are under instructions from the government to go no further than “explaining” government policy;[159]

  • the politicians in charge, who should value the best interests of their citizens more than they value easy votes on election day, and who should encourage their top brass to be honest with the public; and,

  • parliamentarians, including every member of this Committee, for not doing everything in our power to ensure that we ask the right questions and get the right answers.

 

Military leaders give us the answers that they know their political leaders will be comfortable with in Question Period. At National Defence Headquarters, spinmeisters craft the military line for reporters and parliamentarians, rarely allowing it to stray from the government line.

 

There is an American political mechanism that works in the interests of open democracy on issues related to the military. U.S. law requires that senior military commanders present Congress with an honest appraisal of what they are in need of to do their jobs. Either they are honest, or Congress doesn’t vote them their funding. So they are honest.

 

There is no such requirement in Canada. And it shows.

 

Defending democracy depends upon reciprocity – upon military leaders telling politicians and the public the truth about any given situation, upon politicians leveling with the public about what needs to be done in relation to what is being done, and with the public rewarding this candor by caring about issues that are so vital to them and those who will follow them.

 

We all need to get involved, and honestly involved. Otherwise we are cheating ourselves and our country.




[1] The Standing Committee on National Security and Defence met with 624 people between October 4, 2004 and July 31, 2005, and solicited papers from dozens of scholars from across Canada.

[2] Government of the United Kingdom, “News Release – G8 Finance Ministers’ Conclusions On Development, London, 10-11 June 2005” (June 11, 2005), available at: http://www.g8.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1078995903270&aid=1115146455234. In June 2005, the G8 Finance Ministers, meeting in London, UK, noted the progress the European Union has made towards the 0.39 % ODA target agreed at Barcelona; the announcements by France and the UK of timetables to reach 0.7 % ODA by 2012 and 2013 respectively; and the recent EU agreement to reach 0.7 % ODA by 2015 with an interim target of 0.56 % ODA by 2010 - a doubling of EU ODA between 2004 and 2010. In line with the EU agreement, Germany (supported by innovative instruments) and Italy undertake to reach 0.51 % ODA in 2010 and 0.7 % ODA in 2015.

[3] Department of National Defence, 2005-2006 Report on Plans and Priorities (2005), 8, available at: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/20052006/ND-DN/ND-DNr56_e.asp. This includes both money announced in Budget 2005 and money the Department plans to receive in Supplementary Estimates over the course of the Fiscal Year. Presuming the Department receives all the money it expects to in Supplementary Estimates, Canadian defence spending will total approximately $436 per capita including both Main and Supplementary Estimates.

[4] The per cent and per capita figures for Canada’s foreign aid spending was estimated based on Canada’s Overall Developmental Assistance for FY 2004-2005. The per cent of GDP figure for spending on defence can be attributed to the Department of National Defence, Making Sense Out Of Dollars 2004-05 Edition (February 2005), 20, http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/financial_docs/Msood/2004-2005/MSOOD04_b.pdf. The per capita figure for spending on defence was calculated based the FY 2004-2005 Main Estimates for the Department of National Defence.

5 Department of National Defence, Making Sense Out of Dollars 2004-2005 (February 2005), available at: http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/financial_docs/msood/2004-2005/.

[6] Figures for the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Australia were based on data from the CIA World Factbook 2004, available at: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/.

[7] Privy Council Office.  Office of the Leader of the Government in the Senate.  “International Development Assistance: Motion Urging Government to Meet commitment – Debate Continued”.  July 6, 2005. http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/lgs/default.asp?Language=E&Page=newsnouvelles&Sub=speechesdiscours&Doc=20050706-develop_e.htm

[8]  Source: CIA World Factbook 2004 (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/mil_exp_per_of_gdp)

[9] Canada’s beer and liquor stores and agencies sold more than $16.1 billion worth of alcoholic beverages during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004 (latest data available). Total per capita purchases of alcoholic beverages amounted to $623.60. See: Statistics Canada, Public Institutions Division, System of National Accounts Branch, The Control and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages in Canada 2004 (September 2005), no. 63-202-XIE, available at: http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/Statcan/63-202-XIB/0000463-202-XIE.pdf. The $14.1 billion Canadians spent on defence includes both Main and Supplementary Estimates.

[10] See Appendix VI.

[11]See Appendix VI.

[12] Major-General R.J. Hillier, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, (May 30, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/22cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[13] Lester B. Pearson, “Nobel Lecture – The Four Faces of Peace,” (December 11, 1957) , available at: http://nobelprize.org/peace/laureates/1957/pearson-lecture.html. See also, Sean M. Maloney, “From Myth to Reality Check; From Peacekeeping to Stabilization,”  Policy Options (Summer 2005), available at: http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/sep05/maloney.pdf.

[14] Since 1994, 17 Canadian Forces personnel have died and 181 have been injured (10 very seriously) on overseas operations.

[15] Department of National Defence.  “Chapter 1 – International Environment,” 1994 White Paper on Defence, available at: http://www.forces.gc.ca/admpol/eng/doc/5113_e.htm.

[16] “Bankrupt Canada?” The Wall Street Journal (January 12, 1995): A14.

[17] Department of National Defence, Making Sense Out of Dollars 2004-2005 (February 2005), available at: http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/financial_docs/msood/2004-2005/.

[18]Rear Admiral Dan McNeil, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (May 6, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/21evd-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[19] Major-General R.J. Hillier, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (May 30, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/22cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76; Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (December 6, 2004), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/07cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[20] Colonel René Melançon, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (January 21, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/09evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[21] “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (March 9, 2005),  available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/18eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[22] Department of National Defence.  Army.  “Strategic Operations and Resource Plan 2005”. 2005.  1.

[23] Ibid, 2.

[24] Ibid, “Annex A,” 1.

[25] Ibid, 6.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Colonel Ryan Jestin, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (January 31, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/09evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[29] Brigadier-General Gaston Côté, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (June 1, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/22cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[30] Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Douglas, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (January 31, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/09evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76. Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas was referring specifically to the manning level at the Artillery School of CFB Gagetown.

[31] Colonel Timothy J. Grant, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (March 7, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/16eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

 

[32] Lieutenant-General Marc Caron, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (February 7, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/11eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Douglas, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (January 31, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/09evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[35] Colonel Christopher J.R. Davis, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (January 31, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/09evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Lieutenant-Colonel Ron Trottier, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (December 1, 2004), available at:  http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/05cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[38] Brigadier-General Greg A. Young, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (December 2, 2004), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/06evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[39] Managed readiness also directs the design, planning and execution of the full range of training and tasks for the Army Reserve, which will be used to sustain high-readiness task forces.

[40] Brigadier-General Gaston Côté, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (June 1, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/22cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[41] Colonel Christopher J.R. Davis, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (January 31, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/09evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[42] Department of National Defence, Army, “Strategic Operations and Resource Plan 2005” (2005), 6/12.

[43] Department of National Defence, Army, “Strategic Operations and Resource Plan 2005” (2005), B-4/29.

[44] Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment) recommends an allocation of 2% of Realty Replacement Cost each year for maintenance and repair and an additional 2% for recapitalization. In 2005, according to the Army, this would represent a combined investment target of $284 million. According to Lieutenant-General Caron’s 2005-2006 impact assessment, the Army planned to devote $183.3 million to repairs and recapitalization—a shortfall of $100 million this year alone.

[45] Department of National Defence, Army, “Strategic Operations and Resource Plan 2005” (2005), B-4/29.

[46] Colonel Ryan Jestin, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (January 31, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/09evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76. “Military base gets $145M,” Edmonton Journal (13 September 2005): A5.

[47] Brigadier-General G.A. Young, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, (December 2, 2004), http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/06cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76

[48] Ibid.

[49] Department of National Defence.  Army. “LFRR Backgrounder,” available at:   http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/lf/English/9_3_1.asp

[50]Department of National Defence, Chief of the Defence Staff, “Annex E: State of the Reserve Force,” Chief of the Defence Staff Annual Report 2002-2003, 61, available at: http://www.cds.forces.gc.ca/00native/pdf/CDS-R2003_e.pdf.

[51] Department of National Defence, Chief of the Defence Staff, “Annex E: State of the Reserve Force,” Chief of the Defence Staff Annual Report 2002-2003, 61, available at: http://www.cds.forces.gc.ca/00native/pdf/CDS-R2003_e.pdf.

[52] Department of National Defence.  Army. “LFRR Backgrounder,” available at:   http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/lf/English/9_3_1.asp.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Colonel Jim Ellis, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (March 1, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/15eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[55] Major-General Ed Fitch, “LAND FORCE RESERVE RESTRUCTURE (LFRR) briefing to SCONSAD Staff” (June 28, 2005), 6.

[56] Ibid.

[57] According to DND, Assistant Chief of the Land Staff at the time, Major-General R.J. Hillier, distributed an Army Realty Asset Strategic Framework in May 2002 in which it was noted that the army’s current realty asset holdings were not sustainable. And in order to maximize each realty asset dollar new sources of funds from partnerships with other government departments (OGDs) or the private sector must be explored. ADM (IE) is currently preparing a report on Administrative Efficiencies relating to Shared Facilities.

[58] Government of Canada, Department of National Defence Department Performance Review 2002-2003,available at:http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/rma/dpr/02-03/ND-DN/ND-DN03D01_e.asp.

[59] The littoral area extends from the open ocean inshore to more restrictive waters, to the shore, to those inland areas that can be attacked, supported and defended directly from the sea.

[60] http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Feature_Story/2003/jul03/30_f_e.asp

[61] Department of National Defence.  Navy.  “MARCOM IMPACT ASSESSMENT 2005”. December 2004. 1/3.

[62] ibid.

[63] Ibid, 3/22.

[64] MARCOM Impact Assessment.

[65] The Navy is currently considering the next generation of warships for the fleet. Central to these deliberations is the concept of a single-surface combatant type platform which would likely include capabilities equivalent to that of the Navy’s current destroyers.

[66]For a detailed description of the challenges faced by the Canadian Forces in acquiring the problems

[67]For a detailed description of the challenges faced by the Canadian Forces in acquiring the Victoria class submarines, see House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defense and Veterans Affairs, Procurement of Canada’s Victoria Class Submarines (April 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/committee/CommitteePublication.aspx?COM=8986&Lang=1&SourceId=110859.

[68] Vice-Admiral Bruce MacLean, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (February 14, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/42195-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76

[69] Commodore Roger Girouard, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (February 28, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/14mn-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[70] Captain Andy Smith, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (May 6, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/21evd-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[71] http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/21evd-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76

[72] A Transfer Request occurs where a part or other piece of equipment cannot be supplied in time by conventional means. The ship requests that Command authorize a TRANREQ and Command, if approval is given, designates a ship of lower readiness to donate the item which will be replaced in due course.

[73] Commodore Ty Pile, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (May 6, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/21mn-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[74] Lieutenant-General Marc Dumais, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (May 6, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/25mn-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

 

[75] Captain (N) Roger MacIsaac, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (May 6, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/21evd-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76. The projected cost of infrastructure projects at CFB Halifax over the next decade is $607.51 million, according to the MARLANT Capital Investment Plan (Realty Asset & Construction).

[76] MacLean, “Testimony.”

[77] Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (February 7, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/11eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Department of National Defence. Air Force. Air Force Impact Assessment FY 05/06 (November 2004).

[80] Department of National Defence, Aerospace Capability Framework (2003), 26.

[81] Department of National Defence. Air Force. Air Force Impact Assessment FY 05/06 (November 2004), 1.

[82] Ibid.

[83] Ibid.

[84] Ibid, 2.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Ibid.

[87] Ibid.

[88] Ibid, 3.

[89] Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (February 7, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/11eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76

[90] Colonel Duff Sullivan, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (February 7, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/16evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[91] Major-General Charles Bouchard, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (March 10, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/18evc-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[92] The Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment at CFB Cold Lake will lose six senior scientists over the next two years representing 190 years of experience. The Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment is unable to fill 15% of its current civilian positions. Colonel Werny noted in his testimony that because of Cold Lake’s location he was also having an especially difficult time attracting the right time of qualified candidates to his organization. Colonel W.S. Werny, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (March 7, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/16evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[93] Colonel Perry Matte, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (May 5, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/21eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

 

[94] The Air Force fleet includes 378 aircraft if the contractor-owned aircraft included in various training programs are included.

[95] The paper prescribed 48 fighters total during peacetime conditions to be augmented in the event of a crisis. Department of National Defence.  “Chapter 7 – Implementing Defence Policy,” 1994 White Paper on Defence, available at: http://www.forces.gc.ca/admpol/eng/doc/5113_e.htm.

[96] Major-General Andrew Leslie, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (November 29, 2004), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/04cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[97] Colonel Perry Matte, “Testimony.”

[98] The Airbuses were acquired from industry in 1993. The airframes are currently nineteen years old.

[99] Bruce Campion-Smith, “Workhorse,” Toronto Star (September 17, 2005): H1. The article describes the age of the CC-130 Hercules platform and its impact on serviceability. It notes that at forty years old, one aircraft in the fleet is only two years younger than its pilot.

[100]The Committee arrived at this estimate based on discussions with senior industry and departmental officials about the amount that the Forces spent on in FY 02/03 and FY 03/04 on charter lift capacity. Similar figures are outlined in: Major G.S. Parker, “Rented Ships and more jet airliners: How the Canadian Forces can achieve reach on a budget,” Canadian Forces College paper (April 29, 2004), footnotes 53-55, available at: http://wps.cfc.dnd.ca/papers/csc/csc30/mds/parker.pdf; and in Barry Cooper and Ray Szeto, “The Need for Canadian Strategic Lift,” Studies in Defence and Foreign Policy, The Fraser Institute (Number 5, August 2005), 5, available at: http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/files/CanadianStrategicLift.pdf.

[101] According to the Department of National Defence’s 2004-2005 Report on Plans and Priorities, “The [Request for Proposal] (RFP) will be released by March 31, 2005 with the intent of replacing the current SAR aircraft as soon as possible.” As of September 19, 2005, the Government has not released the RFP for FWSAR. Department of National Defence, “Section 2: Plans and Priorities Capability Programs – Generate Forces,” Department of National Defence 2004-2005 Report on Plans and Priorities (2004), available at: http://www.vcds.forces.gc.ca/dgsp/pubs/rep-pub/ddm/rpp/rpp04-05/sec2e_e.asp.

[102] Department of National Defence, Report on Plans and Priorities 2005-2006, available at: http://www.vcds.forces.ca/dgsp/00native/rep-pub/ddm/rpp/rpp05-06/j-rpp05-06_e.asp.

[103] Lieutenant-General Marc Dumais, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (June 27, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/11eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[104] JTF2 personnel receive an allowance based on experience and level of qualification. Currently the allowance ranges from $446 for a new member to $1375 for the most experienced and qualified. See: Department of National Defence, Directorate of Pay Policy and Development, "Allowances – Current Rates (1997-present)," (2005), available at:

http://www.dnd.ca/dgcb/dppd/allowance/engraph/allow_e.asp?sidesection=3&sidecat=30#TaskForce.

[105] Lieutenant-General Dumais, “Testimony.”

[106]Lieutenant-General Dumais, “Testimony.”

[107] Department of National Defence, “Backgrounder – Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team BG-04.002E (January 10, 2005),” available at: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=301.

[108]Canada's tsunami response 'amateur,' CARE chief says,” CBC News (February 3, 2005), available at: http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/02/03/tsunami-care050203.html.

[109] Department of National Defence, “Backgrounder – Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team BG-04.002E (January 10, 2005),” available at: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=301.

[110] This information was by the Department of National Defence in response to a Request for Information Regarding the Lease of Antonov Aircraft.

[111] John McCallum quoted in Barry Cooper and Ray Szeto, “The Need for Canadian Strategic Lift,” The Fraser Institute Studies in Defence and Foreign Policy (Number 5, August 2005), 5, available at: http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/files/CanadianStrategicLift.pdf.

[112] Cooper and Szeto, “The Need for Canadian Strategic Lift.”

[113] According to information provided to the Committee by the Department of National Defence in response to a Request for Information, “There exists between the US and Canada a bilateral Cooperative Airlift Support Agreement in which either nation can call on the other for airlift support as needed. In the case of the 1998 Ice Storm, the US provided four C17 flights.” 

[114] The standard flight plan for a CC-130 Hercules en route to East Timor from the time it left Canada was Hawaii, Tokyo, Canberra, and East Timor. That does not include any stops required in Canada.

[115]Cooper and Szeto, “The Need for Canadian Strategic Lift.”

[116] Cooper and Szeto, “The Need for Canadian Strategic Lift.”

[117] Emma Daly, “After Afghan Duty, 62 Spanish Peacekeepers Die in Plane Crash,” The New York Times (27 May 2003), A15.

[118] Major-General (Ret'd) Lewis Mackenzie, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (December 6, 2004), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/07ev-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76. Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier has also speculated publicly about the possible need for such a vessel.

[119] Department of National Defence. Defence Intelligence Review: Report to the DCDS (20 May 2004).

[120] Department of National Defence, Report on Plans and Priorities 2005-2006, available at: http://www.vcds.forces.ca/dgsp/00native/rep-pub/ddm/rpp/rpp05-06/j-rpp05-06_e.asp.

[121] Major-General Michel Gauthier, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (December 13, 2004), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/08cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[122] Department of National Defence, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff Group, “Excellence in Operations: DCDS Group FY 05-06 Impact Statement” (March 2005), 2/22.

[123] Major-General Michel Gauthier, “Testimony.”

[124] Assistant Deputy Minister Information Management Dan Ross, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (February 14, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/42195-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[125] Among the successes have been the increased and speedier integration of data from contracted surveillance overflights more quickly than before; as well as the beginnings of representation from other government departments around the table. 

[126] Minister of National Defence’s Advisory Committee on Administrative Efficiency, Achieving Administrative Efficiency (August 21, 2003), available at: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Focus/AE/AEReportFull_e.pdf.

[127] Aaron P. Plamondon, “Political Parrying: The Sea King Helicopter and the Evolution of the Maritime Helicopter Project,” first published in Maritime Affairs (April 2003), available at: http://www.stratnet.ucalgary.ca/publications/pdf/plamondon_political-parrying_apr03.pdf.

[128] Brigadier-General Gaston Côté, “Testimony.” 

[129] Department of National Defence, “Backgrounder – Recruitment Allowances and Pay Improvements for Military Doctors and Dentists, BG-04.014,” (April 26, 2004), available at: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=1361.

[130] According to information provided by the Department of National Defence in response to a Request for Information from the Committee.

[131] Ibid.

[132] Ibid.

[133] Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (December 6, 2004), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/07cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[134] Major-General R.J. Hillier, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, (May 30, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/22cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[135] According to Department of National Defence, “It could be argued that this is a result of more efficient processing, however, this is more likely due to the reduced numbers of applicants and the need to enrol as many as possible that meet the standards in order to keep up with the numbers required.” This information was by the Department of National Defence in response to a Request for Information on Recruitment Information, September 13, 2005.

[136] Department of National Defence, Directorate of Operational Research, Future Security Environment 2025, available at: http://www.vcds.forces.gc.ca/dgsp/pubs/rep-pub/ord/fse2025/intro_e.asp.

[137] Vice-Admiral Greg Jarvis, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (February 21, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/42224-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[138] According to information provided to the Committee by the Department of National Defence.

[139] Vice-Admiral Jarvis, “Testimony.”

[140] Lieutenant-Colonel Bruce Gilkes, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (March 8, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/17evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[141] Colonel Duff Sullivan, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (February 7, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/16evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[142] Captain Roger MacIsaac, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (May 6, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/21evd-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[143] Lisa Salley, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (November 29, 2004), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/16evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[144] Colonel Ryan Jestin, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (January 31, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/09evb-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[145] Colonel Timothy J. Grant, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (March 7, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/16eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[146] Assistant Deputy Minister Material Alan Williams, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (November 1, 2004), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/02ev-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[147] Assistant Deputy Minister Material Williams, “Testimony.”

[148]SOURCE

[149] Assistant Deputy Minister Material Williams, “Testimony.”

[150] Rear Admiral Dan McNeil, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (May 6, 2005), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/21evd-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[151] Minister of National Defence’s Advisory Committee on Administrative Efficiency, Achieving Administrative Efficiency (August 21, 2003), available at: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Focus/AE/report/sec1-2_e.htm.

[152] The Minister has delegated $5 million expenditure authority to his DM and three other officials: the Assistant Deputy Ministers for Materiel, Information Management, and Infrastructure and Environment. All other Level One managers have expenditure authority up to $1 million. 

[153] Department of National Defence, Army, “Strategic Operations and Resource Plan 2005” (2005),  B-7/29-B-8/29.

[154] Ibid.

[155] Major-General (Ret'd) Lewis Mackenzie, “Testimony,” Proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (December 6, 2004), available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/381/defe/07ev-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76.

[156] Vice-Admiral Bruce MacLean, “Testimony.”

[157] Lieutenant-General Marc Caron, “Testimony.”

[158] Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie, “Testimony.”

[159] See Appendix IX for the text of the regulations governing public comment and testimony by members of the Canadian Armed Forces.



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