FrontLine - Military & Defence Industry News
Dec 10, 2015

Who’s where?

Mark Nicol James IrvineShayne Elder Mark ArujaJudy Foote

In October, Raytheon Canada appointed Mark Nicol as president, international business for Canada. Nicol, who joined Raytheon Missile Systems 14 years ago, had retired as a Commander from the Royal Australian Navy after a distinguished career as a Principal Warfare Officer specializing in anti-air warfare.

In November, Brigadier-General James Irvine assumed command o Joint Task Force-Iraq (JTF-I) for Operation IMPACT. Currently, JTF-I has approximately 600 CAF deployed personnel. BGen Irvine, an RCAF CP-140 Aurora pilot, has served in command roles including as CO of 405 “Pathfinder” Sqn during Op ATHENA in Afghanistan.

JTF-I includes Air Task Force-Iraq (ATF-I) and, following a ceremony at Camp Patrice ­Vincent in Kuwait in October, Colonel Shayne Elder assumed command of ATF-I. Before joining the CAF in 2011, Col Elder had a distinguished career as a tactical helicopter pilot with the Australian Army and retired after 26 years of service at the rank of brigadier.

After 25 years as a lawyer with the U.S. Armed Forces, Kerry Wheelehan has joined Canada Company a Senior Business Consultant. She is working on the Military Employment Transition for Spouses Program known as METS.

After 32 years in the CF, and many years at Thales Canada, Mark Aruja has been selected as Chairman of the Board at Unmanned Systems Canada – an organization he first joined during its formative years 13 years ago. This not-for-profit association of 800 members promotes and facilitates the growth of the Canadian unmanned vehicle systems community through education, advocacy and exchange of ideas.

Association News
In her first public speaking engagement since being sworn in, Public Services and Procurement Minister Judy Foote told a key stakeholder audience at the annual Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) Summit that her orders from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau included working closely with industry “to ensure that defence procurements are streamlined, fair, effective and transparent.”

She explained to AIAC members that Trudeau’s decision to rebadge the department from Public Works & Government Services “reflects the prominent role procurement holds in the department.”

Her “mandate letter” from the Prime Minister states, among other things, that federal procurement processes must not only “reflect modern best practices” but also be “open and transparent” – a term which had become a standing joke under the previous regime as defence procurement has been widely acknowledged as anything but. While optimistic, those in the defence industry are taking a “wait and see” attitude.

On specific military projects, the letter requires Foote to work with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Innovation, Science & Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains on relaunching a program to replace the RCAF’s remaining fleet of Boeing F-18 Hornet fighters. She also is tasked with prioritizing the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy to support renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet and ensure Royal Canadian Navy maintains “true blue-water” capabilities.

As for the companies which comprise the AIAC, Foote acknowledged their “critical role” in the Canadian economy, notably their record of research and development and their role in exports and job creation. “It is a key component of the innovative economy that is essential to our country’s future growth.”

Looking forward to “close collaboration with your industry,” she said the Liberals had been “pretty clear” during the prolonged general election campaign about its defence commitments. “Our goal is to ensure that Canada’s Armed Forces have the equipment they need to protect our sovereignty and support peace operations, while also growing local economies” and ensuring “that equipment is acquired faster, and with vigorous parliamentary oversight.”

Foote added that success would require close cooperation with the aerospace sector, not only within individual procurements but also in general through groups such as the AIAC. “I will do this as Minister, and I will encourage officials in my department to continue to do so as well.”

Industry News
BMT Group (BMT), an international design, engineering and risk management consultancy, has launched a new Canadian-based subsidiary: BMT Clarity. The new company will provide advice and insight into complex Canadian public sector programs.

Teams from sister companies BMT Hi-Q Sigma and BMT Fleet Technology have been supporting federal clients in Canada for years, helping to achieve improvements in program delivery and to support the roll out of major change initiatives. Duncan Whitrow, is the General Manager at BMT Clarity, which is based in Ottawa. David Bright is Sector Director, Defence, at BMT Group.

Seaspan ULC hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to officially start construction on a new head office in North Vancouver. The 7,800 sq m (84,000 sq ft) corporate headquarters is scheduled for completion in late 2017. The four-storey building will include state-of-the-art office space, expanded bike storage, electric vehicle charging stations, a full-service cafeteria, and panoramic views of the Vancouver Harbour front. It will house 350 Seaspan staff (up from the current 130) from across its various companies. The design incorporates a number of green building standards such as passive heating and reduced water use.

CEO Jonathan Whitworth, says it is “the latest step in Seaspan’s renaissance in Canada’s shipbuilding and marine industrial base, [and] represents [a] resurgence of sustained employment and economic activity on the West Coast.”

© FrontLine Defence 2015