Results at a glance

In 2017-18 we made great progress in delivering real results for Canadians to meet the commitments of the Minister’s Mandate letter as well as broader departmental and Government of Canada priorities. Below are some highlights of the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) achievements over the past year. For more information on the department’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Total actual full-time equivalents (FTE)’s (Regular force and civilians): 89,800

Total actual spending: $22,877,086,721

New defence policy

On 7 June 2017, Canada’s new defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE) was released. It is a comprehensive, evidence-based and rigorously costed policy that will orient the efforts of the Defence Team for the next 20 years. First and foremost, it recognizes that people are the CAF’s most valuable asset. Highly skilled and well-supported personnel are therefore at the core of SSE.

SSE presents a new strategic vision for Defence, one in which Canada is strong at home, secure in North America, and engaged in the world. To achieve this vision, the policy commits to reinvesting in core capabilities while making targeted investments in new domains that will be crucial to the CAF success in the future. These capability investments will ensure that the CAF is a capable, relevant, modern, full-spectrum, combat-ready military that can keep Canada secure and contribute to a more peaceful world. Two examples of core capabilities would include, but are not limited to, the Canadian Surface Combatants or the Future Fighter Capability Project; and examples of new domains would include space and cyber.

Stable, predictable and realistic funding as well as effective defence procurement are central to achieving the aims of the policy. To ensure our women and men in uniform have the capabilities and equipment required to do what the Government asks of them, defence spending will grow over the next 10 years from $18.9 billion in 2016-17 to $32.7 billion in 2026-27 on a cash basis, a significant increase of over 70 percent. Additionally, to improve and streamline defence procurement, the policy introduces reforms that will, among other things, grow and professionalize the procurement workforce, reduce project development and approval time for low-risk and low-complexity projects, and increase contracting authority to allow for more internal contract management within DND.

Now that the policy is released, the DND/CAF is focused on implementing it over a 20-year horizon.

Ensuring Sustainable Operational Excellence and CAF Posture and Readiness

In FY 2017-18, the CAF demonstrated its ability to remain ready and able to deliver across a spectrum of operations – from domestic humanitarian assistance and disaster response, to counter-terrorism and peace support operations, to high intensity combat operations. This requires targeted and strategic investment in CAF equipment and other capabilities to be used during domestic and international military operations. The defence policy includes significant investment in equipment and infrastructure that will make a difference to our people.

Ensuring a well-equipped Canadian Armed Forces

The success of Canada’s Defence requires our service members to be appropriately equipped to meet challenges now and into the future. SSE reinvests in core capability, and it makes targeted investments in new domains that will be central to our success in the future. Since its release, we have made steady progress on those commitments, including strengthening training for our procurement workforce.

Highlights of our results to better equip the CAF include:

  • The Light Armoured Vehicle III upgrade project has upgraded 409 of 550 vehicles, with full operational capability anticipated by spring 2020;
  • The Halifax-class ship modernization is wrapping up, on time and on budget;
  • $280 million (excluding taxes) has been dedicated to the Integrated Soldier System project that improves the situational awareness for our ground troops;
  • The Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles project achieved initial operational capability and took delivery of 434 of 500 vehicles;
  • An open and transparent process was launched to procure 88 new fighter aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 fleet. As an interim measure, the Canadian Government announced it will purchase 18 Australian F-18 aircraft to supplement the current fleet until the permanent replacement arrives. The first new fighter aircraft is anticipated in 2025; and
  • The Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel construction of Vessels 1 and 2 progressed well with the vessels reaching 74% and 42% of their construction respectively. Additionally, Vessel 3 entered into full production with initial steel cutting performed.

Ensuring a well-equipped Canadian Armed Forces – Personnel

The success of Canada’s Defence depends on our people. One area where significant progress has been made in implementing SSE, is our people. Through a broad range of people-centric initiativesFootnote i , the CAF provided members and their families with the assistance, services, and care they require.

Highlights of our results to better support our people include:

  • Funding was provided for a new Total Health and Wellness Strategy that will focus on physical, mental, spiritual, and familial health for our military and civilian personnel;
  • A mobile application was launched that gives CAF members easy access to the Road to Mental Readiness training program;
  • More resources were allocated to the Military Family Services Program;
  • Deployment-related injuries, mental and/or physical, are less likely to be barriers to fulfilling career goals (for example, military personnel with a medical category can now be promoted);
  • An Office of Disability Management (ODM) was established to assist ill and injured civilian staff in the return to work and to ensure access to services and benefits if they are injured on duty;
  • DND supported Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC’s) pension for life announcement;
  • Enhanced tax relief measures were put in place for all CAF members deployed on an eligible international operation;
  • The Reserve Full-Time Summer Employment ProgramFootnote ii  was announced and is now available to new recruits, and to current Reservists who are in their first 4 years of service;
  • The Suicide Prevention StrategyFootnote iii  was developed in partnership with mental health experts to represent a new, holistic, pan-CAF and VAC approach to suicide prevention;
  • The Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) commenced 24/7 services in July 2017; and
  • The mobile application “Respect in the CAF” was rolled out; it provides readily available and easily accessible tools and information for awareness, understanding, support, response and prevention of sexual misconduct and inappropriate sexual behaviour (Operation HONOUR).

A well-supported civilian workforce

In FY 2017-18, the department began to implement a more inclusive approach to caring for our military and civilian personnel through the Total Health and Wellness Strategy, recognizing the relationship between the work environment and personal health and well-being. To further this initiative, an ODM was established to support ill and injured civilian staff in accommodating a return to work, as well as ensuring access to services and benefits if injured on duty. Furthermore, 10 additional employees were brought on staff in order to meet the initial operational capability of the ODM in 2017-18. The department also hired 74 employees in compensation operations and 4 employees in the HR-to-pay stabilization initiative to better support employees in resolving pay issues related to the Phoenix pay system. This increased capacity allowed DND to educate employees and managers of their roles and responsibilities in the resolution of pay issues through mandatory Phoenix training. In addition, military managers were better supported to manage civilian employee compensation transactions. There was a renewed focus on training Human Resources (HR) staff on how to produce more timely and accurate pay outcomes and the department was also able to increase support to respond to escalated cases of compensation issues while adopting a client-based approach to address these issues.

New Peace Support Training Centre

Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, reaffirms the Government of Canada’s commitment to peace support operations and to provide the women and men of the CAF with the support they need, including modern facilities in which to work and train.

  • The new Peace Support Training Centre located at Canadian Forces Base in Kingston opened in November 2017 and has started to prepare CAF members and allied personnel for peace support operations; and
  • The project generated investments of $20 million in the local economy, and created approximately 110 jobs during the construction period, supporting the Government of Canada’s commitment to growth that benefits the middle class.

The United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial

Canada hosted the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence MinisterialFootnote iv in Vancouver in November 2017 in support of SSE. The Vancouver Ministerial featured four panel discussions on the following key themes: Smart Pledges, Innovation in Training and Capacity Building, Protecting Those at Risk, and Early Warning and Rapid Deployment. Additionally, throughout the Ministerial, three cross-cutting themes were highlighted: Gender Perspectives, Operating in Francophone Environments, and Policing.

Pledges to UN peacekeeping were announced by 61 Member States, including Canada, and two International Organizations. Canada pledged to make the following new contributions to UN peacekeeping efforts:

  • The launch of the Vancouver PrinciplesFootnote v . This initiative seeks to prioritize and further operationalize child protection within UN peacekeeping, with a focus on preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers;
  • The launch of the Elsie InitiativeFootnote vi . This is a pilot project aimed at rapidly increasing the number of women police and military deployed on UN peace operations, supported by the expertise and political commitment of a group of countries who share Canada’s ambition for change; and
  • A range of Smart PledgesFootnote vii , which are intended to provide specialized military capabilities, leveraging particular Canadian expertise. Canada has implemented its first Smart Pledge, by deploying an air task force of six helicopters to the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for 12 months. Canada has also commenced implementing the remaining Smart Pledges, which include airlift support provided through the UN Regional Support Centre in Entebbe, a Canadian Training and Advisory Team to work with a Troop Contributing Country(ies) and a Quick Reaction Force.

Delivering Excellence in Operations

In FY 2017-18, the CAF delivered on the full spectrum of its missions: in detecting, deterring and defending against threats to Canada and North America; contributing and, in some cases, leading forces for NATO, coalition and peace support operations; responding to international and domestic disasters; engaging in capacity building; providing assistance to civil authorities/law enforcement; and, conducting search and rescue.

Highlights of CAF results in delivering operations include:

  • We coordinated response to over 9000 search and rescue incidents across the country;
  • We responded to natural disasters and humanitarian crisis’ in various communities across six provinces affected by floods and fires, as part of Operation LENTUS; and, provided accommodations’ support to asylum seekers under Operation ELEMENT;
  • We contributed directly to the interdiction of 11.6 metric tonnes of illicit drugs under Operation CARIBBE, as part of Canada’s participation in the multinational campaign to fight illicit trafficking by transnational organized crime in the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean;
  • We provided international disaster relief and humanitarian assistance efforts, including airlift support and supply provisions to people in need in the US and Caribbean in response to hurricanes through Operation RENAISSANCE;
  • We continued to contribute to Operation IMPACT, our military engagement against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. This included a Canadian-led medical facility, and both regional capability and capacity building efforts;
  • We provided capacity-building training to 3000 Ukrainian soldiers through Operation UNIFIER;
  • We continued to provide our support to United Nations peace operations and multinational efforts, under Operations JADE, CALUMET and FOUNDATION, to name a few;
  • We provided assistance to France under Operation FREQUENCE by transporting a total of 195,700 lbs of cargo in west Africa;
  • We continue to provide an Air Task Force in support of Operation PRESENCE in Mali providing 24/7 air medical evacuation to UN troops, and support to MINUSMA headquarters;
  • We participated in various NATO activities – especially those conducted under Operation REASSURANCE, which reinforced NATO’s collective defence and Allied solidarity. This included the deployment of Canadian-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia; and
  • We provided multinational maritime security and counter-terrorism task force support in the Middle East via Operation ARTEMIS.

Cyber Operator Occupation

The CAF’s Cyber Force continued to grow. The new Cyber Operator occupation was created in the Regular and Reserve Forces, and the CAF Cyber Force’s first Cyber Operators were inaugurated into the occupation on 3 November 2017. The CAF Cyber Operators, other military occupations, and civilians conducted computer network defence operations, supported multiple force development activities, and liaised with Canada’s allies and government partners to enhance the DND/CAF’s ability to provide a secure environment.

Defence Innovation

In support of SSE, the new program Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) was designed and developed during FY 2017-18. On 9 April 2018 the Minister of National Defence launched IDEaS and announced a first Call for Proposals for Competitive Projects. IDEaS will invest $1.6 billion into Canada’s innovation community over the next 20 years. The department will continue to reach out to Canada’s most innovative and creative minds to provide the CAF and Canada’s safety and security communities with unique solutions to today’s challenges.

In addition to the new IDEaS program, the Science and Technology (S&T) Program progressed defence innovation during FY 2017-18 through:

  • The provision of evidence-based recommendations for small arms modernization and improving soldier system effectiveness;
  • Improvements in the understanding of threats and opportunities related to semi-autonomous and autonomous systems;
  • Improvements in our ability to use aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors along with unattended ground sensors (UGS) to enhance our all-source intelligence capability with a goal of delivering timely information to tactical Commanders;
  • Improvements in our ability to detect and mitigate explosive hazards;
  • The proposal of new operational concepts, assessments of new land tactical weapons and capabilities, and the exploration into the use of simulation in complex urban operations.

For more information on DND’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

In an effort to further improve transparency and communications with Canadians regarding our department’s mandate, the results we seek and the means by which we achieve them, Defence moved to its new Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for FY 2018-19 as per the Treasury Board Policy on Results. This will be the last Departmental Results Report using the Program Alignment Architecture.

Full details of the new policy - Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s defence policy can be found at:

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