DND/CF Notebook

© 2007 FrontLine Defence (Vol 4, No 3)

Construction Projects for Shearwater
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, announced plans for several construction projects at 12 Wing Shearwater, an investment estimated at $170 million.

“Shearwater ... will be a cornerstone of maritime and air operations for decades to come,” said the Honourable Gordon O’Connor, Minister of National Defence.

The projects include the construction of three in-service support facilities and the conversion of the Shearwater airfield into a heliport. Bird Construction Company has been awarded a contract for approximately $98.3 million. The Shearwater Heliport Conversion Project has been tendered and the intent is to award a contract in the near future.

12 Wing Shearwater is currently home to the CH-124 Sea Kings, and will be the home of the new CH-148 Cyclone helicopters, scheduled for delivery beginning in January 2009.

ITAR Arrangement Reached
The Honourable Gordon O’Connor, Minister of National Defence, together with the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade, welcomed the sign­ing of an arrangement between the Department of National Defence (DND) and the United States Department of State. The arrangement addresses the application of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to U.S. exports of defence articles and services to DND.

The Department of State has agreed to grant access to defence articles and services exported under the ITAR to DND personnel who are Canadian citizens holding a minimum secret-level security clearance, including dual nationals. DND personnel includes Canadian Forces members, civilian employees, embedded contractors and employees of other federal government departments and agencies working within DND.

“This arrangement is good news for the Canadian Forces,” says Minister O’Connor. “It ensures that key defence procurements can be advanced and we can continue to move forward with the purchase of critical equipment for our troops.”

“This achievement is a further sign of the goodwill between both countries and the strong commitment to working together on bilateral defence and security issues,” commented Minister MacKay, explaining that the solution supports common Canada/U.S. security objectives in the post-9/11 environment.

“Canada views today’s arrangement as an important first phase in resolving this complex issue,” says Minister Emerson. “Canada’s high-tech, defence and aerospace sectors can rest assured that it is our priority to engage the U.S. in further discussions with respect to ITAR issues affecting these industries.”

The arrangement, which took the form of an exchange of letters signed by Mr. Ward Elcock, Deputy Minister of DND, and Mr. John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State, reflects the shared objectives of the governments of both Canada and the United States to ensure the security of ITAR-­controlled defence articles and services.

Recognizing this as a first phase, the government will continue to engage with U.S. officials to pursue a similar solution for other federal departments and Canadian industry. The government will  engage with Canadian industry through a consultative working group.

BGen Jaeger the New Commander for CF Health Services
Commodore Margaret Kavanagh passed on the reins of command of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group to Brigadier-General Hilary Jaeger during a military ceremony held in Ottawa.

For Cmdre Kavanagh, the ceremony marks the end of a 32-year career as a Canadian Forces medical officer. Having taking command of the CF Health Services Group in April 2005, she leaves with great satisfaction to have had the opportunity to lead a formation of highly-trained medical and dental professionals, be they in uniform or civilians, which are well-recognized by both international and national healthcare communities.

“There’s really only one reason I stayed with the Canadian Forces for so many years. It’s the sense that we in the Canadian Forces Health Services are making a meaningful contribution to the Canadian Forces, Canadian society and the world, and I needed play my part” explains Cmdre Kavanagh. She adds, “As a commander of such professional group, I simply knew when the chips were down that the people I had the ­privilege to lead would always rise to the challenge.”

In addition to her responsibilities as Surgeon General, BGen Jaeger will now assume the responsibility to lead the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. She also becomes the Director General Health Services.

“In taking over command of such a well-functioning organization as the CF Health Services Group, it is important to recognize the outstanding efforts of my predecessors, including Cmdre Kavanagh, as well as the truly impressive skill and dedication of the members of the group,” says BGen Jaeger. She continues, “My role will be to build on this solid foundation by bringing a fresh perspective to the challenges that undoubtedly lie ahead.”

The mission of the CF Health Services Group is to provide full spectrum, high quality health services to Canada’s fighting forces wherever they serve. CF Health Services Group is over 5,600-strong, with Regular, Reserve and civilian personnel serving across Canada or deployed overseas, working in one of over 120 units and healthcare centers.

Soldier On Paralympic Sport Summit Launches at Carleton University
Master Corporal Jody Mitic had his legs amputated as a result of a land mine in Afghanistan, but he wants to remain in the military – and to do that, he needs to stay fit. “My mission since day one after I got hurt is to find a way to stay in uniform,” he says. He sees sports as an aid to ­rehabilitation, and was among 13 injured soldiers who were introduced to seven Paralympic sports at the inaugural Soldier On Paralympic Sport Summit held at Ottawa’s Carleton University in May.

Paralympic athletes and top-level national coaches conducted clinics in wheelchair basketball, athletics, wheelchair tennis, sledge hockey, wheelchair rugby and volleyball.

“We put a lot of effort into preparing people for combat; we have to put an equal amount of effort into looking after them when they come home injured, and this is part of the program,” stated Minister O’Connor.

“I have been trying to ensure that Canadians understand the incredible sacrifice made by a soldier, sailor, airman or airwoman, through all the risky missions around the world or here in Canada – such as search and rescue,” said General Hillier. “It’s long days, weeks, months and years of recovery – and sometimes not recovering to the complete level of life that they lived before. We want to do everything that we can to help them get through that.”

Qualtrough noted the Summit allows soldiers who have been injured to hear and see first-hand the benefits and possibilities of sports for persons with a physical disability. She also expressed the CPC’s desire to expand the Soldier On program, in partnership with the Department of National Defence. A program that goes beyond the Sport Summit will be integrated into programs of the Canadian Forces’ Personnel Support Agency.

Minister O’Connor and General Hillier watched the injured soldiers play sledge hockey – the fast-paced and physical Paralympic version of hockey played on sledges with blades underneath.

“We hope the soldiers participating in this Sport Summit will, like our Paralympians, feel the rush of participating in sport, not just at the high performance level but also in everyday life,” said Qualtrough.
© FrontLine Defence 2007