Joint CDS/DM Directive for the Resumption of Activities

May 22, 2020


  1. CDS TASKORD GC Response to COVID-19, Op GLOBE 20-01, 4 February 2020
  2. CDS TASKORD 001 Op LASER 20-01, 2 March 2020
  3. CDS Planning Directive – COVID-19 Mitigation, 19 March 2020
  4. CDS TASKORD 002 Op LASER 20-01 (Force Employment Framework), 3 April 2020
  5. CDS/DM Directive – DND/CAF COVID-19 Public Health Measures and Personal Protection, 1 May 2020
  6. Draft Guidelines for Deputy Heads in the Federal Public Service - Undated 9

Former Special Advisor to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, Brigadier-General Dyrald Cross, discusses important details around Business Resumption Planning, specifically related to the where the Defence Team is at within the Joint CDS/DM Directive for the Resumption of Activities. Key discussion points include information on the four stages outlined in Phase 3: Pandemic Response, and how our organization is responding business resumption.


  1. (U) Application
    1. This is a directive that applies to all employees of the Department of National Defence (DND) and any persons granted access to defence establishments in accordance with the Defence Controlled Access Area Regulations.
    2. This directive is an order that applies to all officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
    3. This directive serves as a guide to Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) resumption of activities in support of CAF priorities.
    4. Members of the CAF on named domestic or international operations will follow the direction and guidance issued in relevant operational tasking orders. Those CAF members serving in OUTCAN positions will follow the provisions outlined within this directive while adhering to host nation organization measures.
  2. (U) General
    1. The CAF/DND response to a pandemic follows four phases:
      1. Phase 1 – Pandemic Preparedness.
      2. Phase 2 – Pandemic Alert.
      3. Phase 3 – Pandemic Response. On 13 March 2020, the CDS activated this phase which is characterized by widespread and sustained transmission of a virus within the general population. CAF/DND instituted business continuity plans (BCP) to preserve critical capabilities to both enable the continued execution of domestic and international operations, and to enable the execution of operations in support of the Government of Canada (GC) COVID-19 response. It is anticipated that we will remain in this phase for an extended period. The purpose of this directive is to define execution of additional limited CAF/DND activities during Phase 3.
      4. Phase 4 – Post Pandemic Restoration. The restoration phase begins when post-pandemic status has been confirmed. This phase involves the resumption and re-establishment of all CAF/DND services and operations to normal levels, conditions permitting, and will be the subject of a subsequent directive.
  3. (U) Problem Definition. The fundamental problem confronting CAF/DND is how to dynamically evolve to thrive in the current fight against COVID-19, and simultaneously prepare for the near-term resumption of designated activities asymmetrically across the enterprise. 
  4. (U) Assumptions. The following assumptions are intended to guide planning efforts and are subject to confirmation as the situation evolves.
    1. Disease will surge in municipalities and through groups that do not enforce PHM and occupational health and safety precautions;
    2. The easing of restrictions will occur gradually and at a different pace based on geography, function, physical space limitations, availability of social infrastructure and individual circumstances;
    3. There may be a need to reduce access to the workplace should there be a resurgence of cases or new public health restrictions;
    4. CAF/DND members will continue to be at risk of contracting COVID-19, especially as we increasingly operate in high risk environments such as long term care facilities or support those who do, and restart activities when there is still COVID-19 community transmission;
    5. Generally, prohibitions on large gatherings will remain in place;
    6. New technologies and digital tools will emerge from this crisis that will offer enhanced dispersed communications, disease surveillance, supply chain visibility and management;
    7. The COVID-19 pandemic could last 18 months or longer, and the virus will likely return in multiple waves before a vaccination and/or approved medications are available;
    8. The human suffering, economic impacts, and food/resource challenges will destabilize individuals, families, organisations and state actors alike, resulting in as-of-yet unforeseen secondary impacts and behaviours within some countries and regions of the world;
    9. CAF education and training facilities and all other components of our institution across our communities, may operate at reduced capacity or with increased use of remote and virtual learning tools as the resumption of activities occur;
    10. Regional COVID-19 outbreaks and set-backs will disrupt CAF/DND activities. A distributed and dispersed approach where applicable will mitigate the risks of single points of failure;
    11. CFHSG will not acquire or field a rapid testing capability for COVID-19 in the three-month horizon, requiring continued reliance on provincial/territorial or contracted processing facilities and disciplined application of public health measures. Our civilian members will not have access to those testing mechanisms through Public Health Services either;
    12. Op LASER-specific RFAs from federal and provincial entities will continue to be received throughout the summer months and into the fall;
    13. Our integrated supply chain will remain fragile/disrupted for the foreseeable future;
    14. There will be differing, as well as disproportionate negative impacts, of the COVID-19 pandemic on diverse groups of people within Canadian society, and therefore on CAF/DND members. This includes the adverse impact of disruption to public programs and social services, particularly on those with dependents (children and adults). This will impact the availability of our members to return to their normal place of work; and
    15. The necessary safety control measures including PHMs and alternate work arrangements are being implemented to keep risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace low.
  5. (U) Limitations
    1. Constraints
      1. National and local union consultation will occur prior to the commencement of the return of additional members of the civilian workforce to the workplace;
      2. CAF/DND members must be individually communicated with to establish an understanding of the impacts and mitigations  necessary of a return to work and to outline the expectations for their return, the mandatory training required of them, and the PHM that are in place and with which they will abide;
      3. The directive on PHM and personal protection at ref E will be strictly adhered to;
      4. Adhere to provincial, territorial, regional, municipal, and host nation restrictions unless required to do otherwise in the authorized execution of a specific duty;
      5. When reporting cases of individuals potentially affected by COVID-19, the necessary precautions will be taken to protect the privacy of employees through strict adherence to the provisions of the Privacy Act;
      6. Prior to undertaking any Stage 3 activities that involve a return to the workplace, Regional Joint Task Forces (RJTFs) will communicate that plan to provincial/territorial authorities on behalf of the L1(s) within their region;
      7. The conduct of individual and collective training will be paced by the execution of the National Procurement program and defence industry’s ability to support; and
      8. Balance the benefit of physical returns to the workplace with the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.
    2. Restraint. All current restraints contained within ref A through D remain extant unless otherwise directed.


  1.  (U) CAF/DND will continue to provide and support combat-effective, multi-purpose forces to protect Canada and Canadians at home and abroad by conducting a controlled and conditions-based resumption of activities.


  1. (U) Concept of Operations
    1. Intent. The CAF must maintain a level of readiness that is commensurate with its operational mandate and requires the support of the entire departmental enterprise. Safety must remain a key planning principle as we prepare for a gradual resumption of activities that respects varying local conditions and that will allow us to eventually return to a new normal; one that has yet to be fully defined. There are however activities that must be resumed faster than the return to normalcy to prevent an excessive erosion of CAF readiness. As the pause imposed by COVID-19 will last longer than our BCPs had envisioned, there are institutional and corporate activities that can and will be restarted before the threat subsides. L1s will be authorized to resume clearly-defined activities in an asymmetric, decentralized, conditions-based and locally-informed approach in accordance with the guiding principles articulated herein.
    2. Guiding Principles
      1. Adhere to the Public Health Measures and Personal Protection Directive (ref E);
      2. Protect the health, safety and wellness of your personnel;
      3. The current modifications of FP&R outputs remain unchanged;
      4. Maintain a focus on wellness, inclusion, and diversity by using Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to identify employees’ experiences based on their various identity factors (age, ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, etc);
      5. The following factors should be considered as members are asked to return to work:
        1. Health status of CAF/DND members which could be adversely affected by COVID-19;
        2. Health status of dependents which could be adversely affected by COVID-19;
        3. Presence at home of children under the active care of members during expected work hours;
        4. Availability of public transportation and other social infrastructure; and
        5. Availability of community services.

        The operational requirements of the CAF may dictate that accommodation of the impacts of these factors is not possible and that a return to work is necessary;

      6. Monitor the health of all members and supporting organizations within the workplace with strict adherence to privacy legislation. All members must report immediately if they believe that they have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19 and they must comply with public health directed testing and isolation/quarantine procedures;
      7. Support the ability of all CAF/DND personnel to make as full a contribution as is possible;
      8. Enable and exploit opportunities for additional remote work;
      9. Continue to build the resilience and sustainability of CAF/DND by strengthening digital and skill acquisition and leveraging digital infrastructure investments;
      10. Identify which activities must be resumed at the workplace; develop and practice strict adherence to PHM to ensure safe conduct and safe support to the conduct of those activities;
      11. Leverage technology and dispersion to avoid large gatherings where physical distancing practices cannot be implemented;
      12. Isolate and segregate formed bodies and individual augmentees before and after deployment, and when an activity must absolutely be conducted that requires the grouping of personnel in close proximity to one another;
      13. Broad ranging returns to the workplace should be commensurate with the relaxation of restrictions in local communities and aligned with the locally demonstrated capacity to control COVID-19 transmission, recognizing that Defence will be operating in a COVID-19 environment that could last up to 18-months or longer; and
      14. Continuously adapt to “living with COVID-19” as long as is needed.
    3. Scheme of Manoeuvre. This directive applies to the resumption of additional limited activities that are absolutely necessary while we are continue our Phase 3 response to COVID-19. Notwithstanding the imperative to reinvigorate specific activities, we must remain pragmatic, safe, and judicious in what we re-introduce while staff capacity is focussed on enabling and executing our operational mandate. To that end, the Phase 3 response will be defined by four stages that are not intended to be executed sequentially and are not mutually exclusive; rather, they will be undertaken in parallel and to varying degrees as changing conditions permit:
      1. Stage 1 – Execution of Business Continuity Plans (BCP)  (ongoing). First and foremost is the continued execution of Op LASER. In this ongoing stage, CAF/DND have been essentially reduced to the execution of those critical services defined by BCPs that have enabled the execution of operational output. These services have been governed by limits on the capacity to execute work remotely and the imperative to stay at home to stay healthy while measures to protect the team have developed and evolved. It has included the conduct of planning for the resumption of activities as conditions permit and the preparation of workplaces for the eventual return to them;
      2. Stage 2 – Resumption of Work in an Active COVID-19 Threat Environment (generally not before 1 June 2020 with exceptions managed by L1s in consultation with L0). With Op LASER still ongoing, this stage directs additional remote work while workplaces are prepared for the eventual return to the workplace, resources are procured, and control measures are developed and implemented to allow for the controlled resumption of critical activities in the workplace at Stage 3, while also setting conditions for optimized activities in a latent COVID-19 environment:
        1. Workplace preventive/control measures are established to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19:
          1. All personnel that return to their workplace fully understand the PHM that they must practice at all times including physical distancing, cough etiquette, frequent hand washing, and routine cleaning with an emphasis on high touch areas such as door knobs, light switches and horizontal surfaces informed by Annex B;
          2. Adequate stocks of non-medical masks and PPE have been distributed by respective L1s and made readily available to employees returning to their workplace;
          3. All personnel that return to the workplace are trained on the use of non-medical masks/PPE, have completed the Defence Learning Network (DLN) on-line training and that training has been reported/tracked;
          4. All personnel have proper onboardingFootnote 1, whether virtual or otherwise. This should include re-onboardingFootnote 2 for returning staff from remote work to the workplace; and
          5. When PHM, such as physical distancing, cannot be respected by virtue of the activity (i.e. deployment of ship’s crews, essential training, etc) leaders will either ensure non-medical masks/PPE protocols are addressed and/or sequestration is applied as needed;
        2. Adequate workforce is available with careful consideration for members who have a greater likelihood of severe illness if COVID-19 is contracted or who will experience unique challenges at home if some form of accommodation is not granted;
        3. Planning and rehearsal for reaction to outbreaks has been completed, to include the reactivation of BCP as required;
        4. Mechanisms for the reporting of COVID-19 testing results and positive cases on a common operating picture are established; and
        5. Under the guidance of the Surgeon General, Bases Wings and CFSU(O) will have established contact tracing regimes in line with those of their provincial or territorial health authorities to investigate disease outbreak amongst members and implement quarantine/self-isolation as needed;
      3. Stage 3 – Resumption of Additional Training and Institutional Activities. In this stage, we are still responding to the pandemic. While remote work largely continues, only those activities that are necessary to stop the immediate erosion of CAF readiness (individual training, collective training in support of deployed operations and high readiness contingency forces) and critical supporting and institutional activities that are aligned with established priorities will be undertaken:
        1. Either sufficient public health capacity is in place to test, trace, isolate, and control the spread of the virus or, in its absence, protocols can be developed and adopted to ensure members are not a threat vector or do not get exposed to a threat vector;
        2. Provinces/territories retain medical capacity to handle illness and where members will not inadvertently strain health systems; and
        3. COVID-19 transmission within the community is controlled or, if not, isolation of CAF members and activities is conducted to avoid being a threat vector to the communities where we operate.
      4. Stage 4 – Operations and Activities in a Latent COVID-19 Environment. In this stage, we will no longer be responding to the pandemic but we will not return to a pre-COVID-19 posture. Remote work will continue and workplace occupancy rates will likely remain below pre-COVID-19 rates. As a rule, our posture in the workplace will generally reflect that of the wider Public Service within similar facilities.  This stage will be defined by the achievement of a new steady state in which the latent threat of COVID-19 persists but an ability to detect and react decisively to outbreaks exists. 
    4. Main Effort. The safe resumption of activities that are critical to reverse the erosion of overall CAF readiness.
    5. Priorities. These priorities enable the critical and core activities that must now be pursued through the execution of this directive. They are not listed in order of importance nor do they preclude the execution of those critical or core L1 activities not contained within the list. The intent of the list is to make clear where the weight of effort will be applied when there is a synchronization or capacity conflict:
      1. Enabling Priorities
        1. Further develop and refine PHM requirements and implement them;
        2. Procure and implement CAF COVID-19 independent and rapid testing capabilities, develop and implement contact tracing, and other protocols that further protect the CAF/DND going forward;
        3. Execute priority activities within the Defence and Security Science and Technology program;
        4. Identify and implement additional capacity and processes for remote work;
        5. Prepare the workplace for the deliberate and phased return of the workforce;
        6. Expand Defence Supply Chain operations to support all CAF fleets;
        7. All aspects of the intelligence function;
        8. Execute the Capital Equipment and the Infrastructure and Environment programs in respect of known fixed deadlines that must be respected while minimizing COVID-19 related impacts where possible;
        9. Execute the Equipment Support Program to prepare CAF key fleets for force generation; and
        10. Medium-term planning and assessment of the way forward for SSE.
      2. Departmental Priorities (Outputs)
        1. Continued performance of activities mandated by legislation, regulation or court order, and compliance with prescribed deadlines;
        2. Execute all obligatory activities in compliance with ongoing litigation;
        3. Responsiveness to the evolving GC agenda, and Cabinet, Parliamentary, and Senate committees and processes;
        4. Increase financial management activities to capture COVID-19 expenditure impacts and ensure sufficient cash flow throughout the business resumption period;
        5. Resume individual training with initial priority on recruit and pre-OFP training;
        6. Conduct collective training critical to the conduct of deployed operations and high readiness contingency forces; and
        7. Execute ongoing domestic and international operations.
    6. End State. CAF/DND has resumed all necessary activities and are trained, equipped and enabled to work and operate in a COVID-19 environment.
  2. (U) Tasks
    1. Common to All L1s
      1. Consideration for gradual resumption of activities and remote work arrangements will be informed by GBA+ and preliminary lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis;
      2. Until otherwise directed, maintain domestic and foreign travel, engagement, and visit restrictions;
      3. As activities resume, reinforce all PHM to include physical distancing, personal hygiene, routine cleaning in the workplace with an emphasis on high touch areas such as door knobs, light switches, and horizontal work surfaces, etc.  Adhere to Annex B (Physical Assessment Guide to Assess the Risk of COVID-19 in the Workplace);
      4. Pre-reoccupation of workspaces, engage with ADM(IE), a minimum of two-weeks in advance, to ensure that facilities that may have been dormant or largely dormant are readied for occupation;
      5. Exploit remote working arrangements as needed and as possible;
      6. Consider innovative approaches to maintaining physical distancing. Alternative arrangements such as shift and remote work should be undertaken where it makes sense to do so;
      7. Assess lessons learned from preparation for the first wave of COVID-19 and update doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs);
      8. Report financial impacts and pressures directly related to operations conducted under Op LASER to ADM(Fin);
      9. Contribute to the collection of strategic Lessons Learned led by the SJS, and tactical and operational Lessons Learned led by CJOC, all informed by GBA+;
      10. Ensure that GBA+ as it relates to COVID-19 impacts on Canadians, and in particular, CAF/DND members, informs planning for the resumption of activities by each L1 and also informs the identification of potential new measures or policies to mitigate medium to longer term risks/negative impacts on operations and the careers of particular groups in CAF/DND. Gender Advisors (GENADs), Gender Focal Points (GFPs), the Directorate for Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (DGDI) and the Directorate for Integration Gender Perspectives (DIGP) can provide expert support and guidance;
      11. Be prepared to implement initial COVID-19 BCPs in the event of a local resurgence of COVID-19;
      12. Ensure that occupational health and safety committees have been fully activated and engaged in the development of business resumption plans (BRP);
      13. Support ADM(RS) in COVID-19 related reviews and audits; and
      14. Provide responses to the questions posed at Annex A to SJS/DG Plans by 15 July 2020.
    2. Common to All CAF L1s
      1. Recommence planning and execution of critical individual and collective training activities necessary to reverse the erosion of CAF readiness. Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) and Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) are the first priority, in a decentralized model under the stewardship of MPC;
      2. Op LASER – inclusive of GC COVID-19 response and natural disaster response operations – will continue until otherwise directed. As L1s plan for the resumption of activities, they must retain the ability to dynamically re-task force elements as requested by CJOC. This includes the potential employment of Class C Reservists as either trainees or instructors;
      3. Complete a short-term assessment that considers the following at a minimum (as applicable by L1): critical intake requirements; essential and prioritized individual and collective training requirements needed to ensure the health of the force and mandated force employment outputs; resumption of select high priority strategic planning efforts; administrative and support activities; personnel movement and succession planning; and
      4. Force Generators (FG), working with CJOC, are to ensure that force elements reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission which may include testing, self-isolation / sequestration before integrating into operations.
    3. VCDS
      1. Act as the coordinating authority for PHM. This will include the professionalization of standards pertaining to the use of non-medical masks and PPE;
      2. Develop and issue Annex B (Physical Assessment Guide to Assess the Risk of COVID-19 in the Workplace);
      3. Coordinate the development of the strategic occupational health and safety conditions for business resumption planning with employer and employee representatives in support of L1 business resumption operations;
      4. Establish a tailored, priority focused OUTCAN posting plot for APS 20 based on national and international COVID-19 pandemic related limitations;
      5. Based on CDS Guidance on Strategic Military Planning, lead the analysis to design an objective force that will serve as a credible deterrent in the future security environment;
      6. Examine the requirements for, and develop a scale of issue and holdings of, PPE for CAF/DND to operate in a pandemic environment within an operational, institutional and corporate context;
      7. Review and develop new post-pandemic Defence Security protocols which includes updates to, and optimization of, the business continuity management (BCM) program and critical services assurance protocols;
      8. Support L1 HQs, through the services provided by CFSU(O), for the re-opening of National Capitol Region installations; and
      9. Work with L1s to determine an immediate plan for future governance bodies to enable the defence program.
    4. ADM(Fin)
      1. Capture all costs related to operations and functions undertaken during the CAF/DND response to COVID-19;
      2. Provide financial estimates with regards to the resumption of corporate, institutional and operational activities;
      3. Assess out-year fiscal implications of the bow wave of deferred training, maintenance, contracting, acquisition, etc;
      4. Introduce additional comptrollership functions as needed; and
      5. Consider financial implications of potential designation of Op LASER as a Special Duty Operation, as well as introduction of hazard and risk pay for specific assignments.
    5. ADM(Pol)
      1. Remain engaged with Privy Council Office and Global Affairs Canada to ensure GC and CAF/DND planning remain aligned, equitable and responsive. Assess and report on allied perspectives;
      2. Support preparation of advice and RFA response packages;
      3. Inform analysis on global CAF posture.
    6. ADM(Mat)
      1. Work closely with the Defence Industrial Base (DIB) to support resumption; and
      2. Advise L1s regarding the pace that can/cannot be supported from a DIB, sustainment and maintenance point of view.
    7. MPC
      1. Continue to provide PHM and PPE advice to shape strategic direction;
      2. Finalize CDS direction on CAF relocations in conjunction with SJS and L1s;
      3. Develop contact tracing protocols that can be applied at Wings, Bases, the NCR, and other facilities;
      4. Obtain and operationalize CAF COVID-19 independent rapid testing capabilities;
      5. Refine total health and wellness strategies in a COVID-19 environment, striving for more resilient and growth-oriented mindsets;
      6. Conduct an analysis of employability within a variety of  COVID-19 environments and produce guidance in the form of COVID-19-specific medical employment limitations;
      7. In conjunction with CFMWS, develop plans for the resumption of morale and welfare services and fitness training/testing;
      8. Develop a sequenced and phased approach to re-opening MPC schools and training institutions with a priority on re-starting the BMQ and BMOQ courses;
      9. Establish a COVID-19 Fusion Centre to track COVID-19 and health care capacity within the CAF and the communities in which we serve and inform supported commanders when conditions warrant increasing or decreasing force PHM; and
      10. Develop medically informed regression considerations to provide advice to L1s in case of a local resurgence of the pandemic.
    8. CJOC
      1. OPI tactical and operational Lessons Learned; and
      2. Conduct and bring forward to the CDS a global operations update to include recommendations on changes to the current CAF/CJOC posture and planned operations in the near to mid-term.
    9. ADM(IE)
      1. Ensure all infrastructure is maintained and ready for the partial and full resumption of activities;
      2. In support of L1 operations, and CF H Svcs Gp and DSafeG guidance, prioritize the adaptations that may be essential to optimize facilities to continue to support CAF operations in a latent COVID-19 environment;
      3. Capture and report all adverse impacts and costs incurred resultant of the decreased use of facilities; and
      4. Report financial impacts caused by the gradual or sudden resumption/restoration of maintenance and routine activities.
    10. ADM(HR-CIV)
      1. Ensure sustained consultation with national unions on the implementation of resumption activities as it pertains to DND;
      2. Issue a Directive to Managers on managing a varied, flexible (remote, on-site mix) workforce along with a managers' toolkit to be posted to all platforms including the HR Go App. As part of the directive, managers will be required to complete and sign a mandatory flexible work agreement with their employees which will be captured, monitored, and communicated;
      3. Remain engaged with the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) to ensure civilian personnel policies during transition are communicated and reflective of Federal Public Service business resumption considerations;
      4. Provide a plan for the resumption of normal HR-Civ staffing/hiring activities;
      5. Provide guidance on management of those civilian members who are unable to return to the workplace, as they have been declared medically vulnerableFootnote 3, or who have someone medically vulnerable at home; and
      6. To protect the health and safety of employees, ADM(HR-Civ) in partnership with ADM(DIA), will develop and maintain a civilian registry of COVID-19 cases and other workforce capacity elements. The necessary precautions will be taken to protect the privacy of employees through strict access and authentications protocols as in place for similar systems such as HRMS.
    11. ADM(IM)
      1. Continue to increase IT/IM solutions to enable remote work up to Protected B and provide reliable access to systems of record; and
      2. Enable MPC’s establishment of a COVID-19 Fusion Centre to track COVID-19 and health care capacity within the CAF and the communities in which they serve.
    12. ADM(S&T). Continue to support the CAF/DND COVID-19 operational and medical response.
    13. ADM(RS). Execute an ongoing audit of resource expenditures related to COVID-19 and other relevant audits as required.
    14. ADM(PA)
      1. Provide strategic level communication guidance and messaging to ensure that we are in line with GC direction;
      2. Assist the with the coordination of the Departmental responses to media queries and public inquiries;
      3. Develop a strategic level communication plan and broad-reaching communication products to ensure all members of DND/CAF are aware of and understand resumption of business activities and related initiatives, including resumption of CAF operations;
      4. Work with ADM(HR-Civ) and MPC to develop and manage an employee engagement plan and toolkit that includes resources accessible to CAF members and DND employees including an evergreen repository of Frequently Asked Questions, the answers for which will be coordinated through functional authorities;
      5. In coordination with relevant government departments and agencies, inform Canadians of CAF operations; and
      6. Coordinate Strategic Communications with the supported command and SJS.
    15. ADM(DIA)
      1. Maintain and enforce data governance associated with the monitoring and reporting of COVID-19 and other workforce capacity elements on the civilian workforce; and
      2. Work in partnership with ADM(HR-Civ) to develop and maintain civilian tracking of COVID-19 cases and other workforce capacity elements, including appropriate privacy and security controls.
    16. SJS
      1. Remain engaged at the federal echelon with Whole of Government emergency management stakeholders to ensure GC and CAF/DND planning remains aligned, equitable and responsive;
      2. Maintain COVID-19 standing SOPG until otherwise directed to act as a clearing house for best practices and to facilitate the promulgation of direction;
      3. Develop a common operating picture to inform on threats, trends and activities related to COVID-19;
      4. Continue to serve as the CAF point of entry for RFAs;
      5. Analyze with ADM(Mat), CJOC and other L1s prioritized adjustments to the defence supply chain to incrementally enhance its visibility, management and resilience;
      6. Work with MPC/Surgeon General, CJOC and other L1s to normalize PPE supply chain and replenishment activities;
      7. Office of primary interest for CDS Guidance on Strategic Military Planning; and
      8. Collect and publish strategic lessons learned.
    17. CFINTCOM
      1. Continue to monitor international events and threats with an eye on emerging post-pandemic second order and geopolitical effects; and
      2. Continue to monitor and report on the COVID-19 pandemic.
    18. Corp Sec
      1. In conjunction with the Military Assistants, continue to support the ongoing interface between the MND and CAF/DND through the evolving period;
      2. In conjunction with stakeholders, develop and maintain records of decision-making approaches applied in the COVID-19 response;
      3. Examine the evolution of governance through Stages 1 to 4 and continue to adapt governance approaches and key events to facilitate senior leadership decision-making;
      4. Organize and execute a Virtual Defence Leadership Symposium Plus (DLS+) to be conducted as soon as is possible following the L1 Stage 2 and 3 back briefs to the CDS and DM; and
      5. Continue to facilitate the early and ongoing application of GBA+ principles in business resumption planning.
  3. (U) Coordinating Instructions
    1. Timings
      1. 14 May 2020: Functional authorities and CFSU(O) to present their business resumption support plans at DMC to inform and guide L1 BRP development;
      2. 21 May 2020: L1 Stage 2 and 3 back briefs to CDS and DM, the format and coordinating details of which will be promulgated once defined. CDS will issue amplifying direction will be issued following these back briefs;
      3. Not Before 22 May 2020: Virtual Defence Leadership Symposium Plus (DLS+);
      4. NLT 28 May 2020: L1 to provide a consolidated view of the core activities being resumed at Stage 3 to feed the COP and enable communication with all stakeholders;
      5. Not Before 1 June 2020: Transition to Stage 2. Exceptions to be managed by L1s in consultation with L0;
      6. NLT 15 July 2020: L1 responses to the series of questions posed at Annex A are to be provided to SJS/DG Plans for compilation; and
      7. NLT 15 July 2020: All managers of DND personnel are required to complete the one-hour online Canadian School of Public Service (CSPS) course currently titled: Leading Teams, Managing Virtual Teams online. (Future title: Establishing Effective Virtual Teams).
    2. Authorities. Authority to move between stages rests with L1s, which may be delegated when necessary due to differences in regional/intra-regional circumstances. As required, decisions will be fulsomely discussed during the appropriate governance nodes to ensure deconfliction/impact risk mitigation between L1s where the desire to undertake activities necessitates support from enabling entities (industry, civilian support, maintenance). Likewise, comprehensive coordination is required for activities on Bases/Wings/CFSU(O) with multiple L1 Lodger Units, with the Base/Wing/CFSU(O) parent L1 retaining overall coordination authority.
    3. Regression. Plans must account for a rapid reversion to a previous Stage where any of the conditions that enabled transition to are invalidated. MPC will develop medically informed regression considerations to provide advice to L1s in case of a local resurgence of COVID-19.
    4. Individual Medical Concerns. All officers and non-commissioned members of the CAF, employees of DND, and any persons granted access to defence establishments, concerned that their medical conditions might place them at increased risk of complications from COVID-19, should speak with their health care provider to assign appropriate medical employment limitations prior to a return to their workplace. Medical conditions that may increase the risk of complications from COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes, obesity, immune deficiencies, and medications that may affect the immune response.
    5. Commanders’ Critical Information Requirements (CCIRs)
      1. Incidents of outbreaks or resurgence in the immediate locale of CAF/DND installations or amongst members;
      2. Significant public or local/provincial authority concern or resistance to CAF/DND resumption of activities;
      3. Refusals to work where it cannot be resolved internally to an L1;
      4. Any degradation of capacity to work remotely for a period that extends beyond four hours. This includes disruption of telecommunications, networks and remote accessibility of SharePoint, network drives, systems of record, and critical operating systems for the management of personnel and projects;
      5. Supply chain or defence industry disruptions with the potential to affect activities and operations;
      6. Allied/partner nation and host nation outbreak clusters threatening deployed CAF members; and
      7. OUTCAN host nation actions/inactions or access to medical facilities that could be hazardous to OUTCAN members.  
    6. Public Affairs Approach. The public affairs approach is active, but coordinated with the GC and respective L1s. The focus must be to ensure alignment and synchronization of internal and external messaging and public affairs activities in support of the resumption of activities. The approach should also be aligned with those of Allies and partners, highlighting how Defence continues to engage and contribute globally in support of GC objectives.

Concept of support

  1. (U) CAF elements deployed on domestic operations will continue to ensure self-sufficiency as much as possible, as SJS, CJOC and ADM(Mat) continue to collaborate to strengthen supply chains and the flow of commodities.
    1. Finance. Specific details related to cost capturing will be promulgated separately.
    2. Reconstitution of Stores. In preparation for CAF responses to RFAs, a significant amount of materiel was prepositioned across TF LASER at the RJTF and unit level. In addition, newly acquired materiel was pushed to strategic locations to be warehoused for potential issue. To ensure that the CAF is able to support future force generation activities, a detailed plan for reconstitution of stores is required, including the following:
      1. Reconstitution of Medical PPE from local facilities back to national stock as determined by CF H Svcs Gp;
      2. Redeployment of nationally held engineer stores, such as the Re-locatable Temporary Camp (RTC) items that were distributed;
      3. Redeployment of controlled stores, such as tentage, heaters, and generators that were sourced from national depots; and
      4. Plans for enhanced cleaning of all facilities and equipment that were used as part of an RFA for Op LASER.
    3. Preparation of Institutional Facilities. With the order to work from home issued early and in place for a significant period of time, there will be a requirement to prepare and possibly modify institutional facilities for Stage 2 and beyond activities. Based on advice and prioritized support of resources from CF H Svcs Gp and ADM(IE), L1s will develop plans for enhanced cleaning of institutional facilities (dormitories, barracks, kitchens, training facilities, offices, warehouses, workshops, etc.) as required, to support a return to the place of work/training.


  1. (U) Office of Primary Interest. VCDS.
  2. (U) Office of Collateral Interest. DOS SJS.
  3. (U) Points of Contact
    1. DVCDS: MGen Frances Allen;
    2. COS VCDS: BGen Kevin Horgan; and
    3. SA VCDS: Colonel Dyrald Cross.

J.H. Vance

Jody Thomas


Distribution List


Comd RCN
Comd CA
Comd MPC
Corp Sec


Assoc MND
Assoc DM
DComd JFC Naples

Annex A - Strategic Planning Considerations for the Conduct of Operations and Activities in a Latent COVID-19 Environment

  1. To prepare CAF/DND personnel for operations and activities in a latent COVID-19 environment, L1s are directed to consider the questions below to prepare themselves for a wholesome review that seeks to harmonize CAF/DND efforts to compete, contest, confront and – if necessary – prevail in combat against our adversaries in a COVID impacted world. 
    1. What have we learned about interactions within and across government (PCO, TBS, FC etc) that helped or hindered our capacity to enable delivery?
    2. What have emerged as our critical enabling capabilities and vulnerabilities?
    3. What is high priority for investment in back office tools and processes? 
    4. How has the pandemic impacted our nation – internally, diplomatically, economically, and militarily?
    5. What has the pandemic taught us about our readiness as a military force? What have emerged as our critical capabilities and vulnerabilities? What is high priority for investment? Is the structure of our force optimal?
    6. Do we have sufficient procurement agility? Is reliance on a global defence industrial base appropriate? Are previously implemented sustainment decisions appropriate (i.e. having industry responsible for all levels of maintenance in certain areas)?
    7. While honouring our NATO treaty commitments, how have we leveraged Allied intelligence and information sharing, best practices, and capabilities and capacities to mitigate the risks of a pandemic?
    8. How would we approach a major operation in a COVID-19 latent threat environment, balancing operational imperatives and our duty of care?
    9. How might domestic socio-economic realities impact CAF/DND?
    10. What personnel administration policies should be amended to better support CAF/DND personnel in this new environment?
    11. How has the CAF/DND contributed to the protection and resilience of Canada through this crisis, and how can we evolve to better support whole of government emergency management efforts?
    12. How do we strengthen and render more resilient defence and medical supply chains?
    13. How do we more rapidly assimilate technological developments vis-à-vis the use of data, digital communications tools, artificial intelligence, and automated systems?
    14. How has this crisis impacted our most important relationships? How will our allies react in a post-pandemic world including collaborating and integrating on opportunities? How have their views of strategic competitors changed?
    15. How will our adversaries react in a post-pandemic world including their view of us and our allies?
    16. What strategic risks and opportunities has this crisis exposed?
    17. What has this crisis taught us about the resilience and wellness of the Force and the CAF/DND?

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