2017 Canadian Armed Forces Outlooks

The Army Outlook

Welcome Remarks

April 12th, 08:20, Ottawa, Ontario

Check Against Delivery

Welcome to the second day of the Canadian Armed Forces Outlooks. This year’s day two honours go to the Army.

I would like to start of the day thanking some individuals who are essential in getting this Army Outlook off the ground. We were lucky to once again have Steven Noonan as our Army Outlook Chair, who was joined this year by Major Rick Toppa, the DND Army Liaison. Today’s events would not be possible without the work of these two individuals. Thank you for your hard work and thank you for supporting this platform that will drive many great ideas and projects going forward.

La série Outlooks constitue l’un des rassemblements les plus spéciaux de l’AICDS et il nous fait plaisir de l’organiser une fois encore cette année. Nous célébrerons bientôt le 20e anniversaire de la série Outlooks et son rôle dans la communauté de la défense est toujours aussi essentiel. Pour cette raison, vous aurez sans doute remarqué que nous avons apporté quelques améliorations à l’image de marque.

Mais ce qui n’a pas changé en 20 ans est notre effort commun de rassembler les hauts dirigeants militaires du Canada et l’industrie de la défense pour discuter des objectifs des Forces armées canadiennes de demain. La discussion que nous aurons aujourd’hui nous permettra d’approfondir notre compréhension collective de ce qui est requis et de ce qui est possible dans la prestation de nouvelles capacités en matière de défense.

There are two groups in our audience during the CAF Outlooks. Today in particular, we have industry players who are here for an all-important annual update on the capabilities the Army is planning to acquire. For those of you from the Forces you will learn about the innovations our industry can deliver to help you carry out your roles and responsibilities in country and abroad.

Regardless of what group you fit into, we are all one defence community and today provides an invaluable networking opportunity to build and deepen relationships, the importance of which cannot be over-stated. Having strong industry-government-military relationships built on trust is a crucial part of the equation for delivering quality products and services to the Forces.

And while I am talking about relationship building, I would like to call everyone’s attention to Lieutenant Colonel Martin Bedard who will soon take up his assignment to the NATO Support and Procurement Agency. Lieutenant Colonel Bedard is the Canadian National Technical Expert to the NSPA helping to promote Canadian industry within that agency, where Canada has proven to be a successful supplier. He builds on the excellent work of Lieutenant Colonel Jim Bates who was doing similar work within the NATO Communications and Information Agency.

Building upon relationships both domestically and internationally over the next few years is crucial to maintaining our position as the world leader in several key existing capabilities we are known for, and to positioning ourselves as innovators of the emerging capabilities of tomorrow, from cyberspace to outer space.

Much has happened this past year on both the domestic and international stages to influence the defence community moving forward.

The Government of Canada has completed several significant policy reviews. Two of these—the Defence Policy Review and the Innovation Agenda—obviously are of particular interest to all in this room.

The results of the Defence Policy Review are imminent and will include a rigorous costing of the capabilities and kit required to deliver on the government’s defence objectives, and the missions and tasks of the CAF.

The Defence Policy Review will be an important opportunity for the government to signal how Canada contributes to the defence of North America, particularly at a time when the new U.S. administration is looking for allies to step forward more than ever. At CADSI we are ready to “lean forward” together with DND and the Government of Canada to explore new ways to support common security in an ever-changing security environment.

Also of interest where the U.S. is concerned are recent changes to the U.S. National Technology and Industrial Base (NTIB). While once the NTIB referenced capabilities residing in the U.S. or Canada, it has now been amended to include the U.K. and Australia because it is clear that the U.S. continues to have important capabilities gaps and there is a recognition that it cannot afford (in money, time or capacity) to fill these gaps alone. We are working with the Government of Canada to inform an implementation plan that the U.S. Secretary of Defence is developing to remove barriers to the effective working of the NTIB.

If you wonder why I’m telling you this it’s because DND is integral to Canada’s ability to sell abroad by being our first buyer, a must in the defence sector when looking to export. With a recent study from the CCC identifying that over $1B in Canadian defence products and services are sold to the US Department of Defence and NASA each year, a Canadian industry/DND partnership is critical. And these Outlooks are part of the foundation that helps us in industry line up to have you in DND be our first buyer.

Turning now to our agenda for today, you will hear directly from senior leaders of the Army as they speak directly to industry and provide their honest views on the short and medium term needs of the Canadian Armed Forces. This important information will provide insight towards promoting, planning, and prioritizing new technologies, approaches, and partnerships. It not only helps build industry but helps build a stronger and more secure CAF.

Nous suivons un programme semblable à celui des précédents Outlooks de l’armée. Pour ceux qui y participent pour la première fois ou pour ceux qui ont besoin de se rafraîchir la mémoire, nous recevront un bilan de l’armée et des mises à jour du programme, des exigences et du portefeuille des sciences et technologies de l’armée.

Je termine avec le message que j’ai transmis hier et que je répèterai encore demain. Il s’agit d’une invitation à participer au prix de mentorat Paddy O’Donnell. Ce prix, décerné pour la deuxième année, souligne les efforts de Paddy O’Donnell en matière de mentorat des jeunes officiers et de sa contribution à notre pays, en tant que militaire et de membre de l’industrie canadienne.

With CANSEC once again just around the corner, the call for nomination for the award is now open. If you know of a mentor in the Canadian defence or security business who has provided valuable advice and support to the next generation of industry leaders, please come forward. We have a page on the CANSEC website dedicated to the award with all the nomination details. As was the case last year, this year’s honouree will be announced at CANSEC.

And, speaking of CANSEC, I would be remiss if I did not remind everyone that registration is now officially open.

Thank you for your attention this morning and I hope that everyone brought a change of clothes given that we’ll be rolling around in the dirt with the Army today.