Annex B: What We’ve Accomplished Since 2017 Under Strong, Secure, Engaged

With Strong, Secure, Engaged, we provided Canadians with a clear plan to ensure that Defence has the necessary capabilities and capacity to respond to evolving security challenges. It included landmark investments in our people, and the renewal of core Navy, Air Force and Army fleets. It was backed by a long-term and stable funding commitment to increase defence spending by 70% over 10 years. Seven years into our plan, more than three-quarters of these initiatives are in the delivery stage or already completed.

Supporting Our People

Above all, Strong, Secure, Engaged was a commitment to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces. We improved the quality of life for members and their families, including through tax relief for members deployed on international operations as well as essential services in total health and wellness, family relocation support, and transition services for retiring members. Furthermore, most members received pay increases by 2024 to ensure that military compensation remains aligned with pay in the Public Service, and to ensure the attraction and retention of the highest standard of personnel required for the challenges of service.

Defence also began the essential task of building a more inclusive and diverse team suited for the 21st century. Our military members and Defence civilians have the right to work in a respectful and inclusive environment free from harassment and discrimination of all kinds. Strengthening an institutional culture of inclusion is not just the right thing to do, it is foundational to operational effectiveness—because diverse groups make better decisions. Since 2017 Defence has taken important steps to prevent or eradicate harassment in the military, modernize the military justice system, examine and address discrimination and hateful conduct, and institute permanent and long-lasting changes to organizational culture. The GBA Plus Enterprise Approach is a critical capability for preventing systemic harm and discrimination as well as increasing our operational effectiveness.

Modernizing Our Military

Strong, Secure, Engaged also made significant improvements to our military capabilities through the replacement of core platforms and targeted investments in emerging technologies. This includes:

  • Delivery of four of six planned Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels, which has increased the Royal Canadian Navy's presence and reach in Canada's Arctic.
  • Advancing the program to deliver 15 Canadian Surface Combatants for the Royal Canadian Navy, the largest shipbuilding project in Canada since the Second World War. Initial construction of these new ships is set to begin this year.
  • Acquiring a fleet of new armoured combat support vehicles—built by Canadian workers in London, Ontario—will enhance the Canadian Army's capacity for effective operations at home and abroad.
  • Acquiring or upgrading a series of Royal Canadian Air Force platforms: 88 new F-35 fighter jets, nine CC-330 strategic tanker transport aircraft, up to 16 new P-8A Poseidon multi-mission aircraft, 16 new or upgraded Cormorant helicopters; and 11 SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft.
  • Strengthening the Canadian Armed Forces' cyber resilience through the Cyber Mission Assurance Program, in partnership with the Communications Security Establishment, and establishing a cyber security certification program to protect our defence supply chains from cyber threats.
  • Standing up 3 Canadian Space Division, which is responsible for delivering space power in support of Canadian and allied military operations, ensuring space domain awareness, and defending and protecting our satellites and other space capabilities.

Responding to a Changing World: Canadian Armed Forces Operations from 2017-2024

Since 2017, the Canadian Armed Forces has deployed in larger numbers and in more contexts than was anticipated in Strong, Secure, Engaged.

Canada remains a committed partner in NATO's collective defence and a steadfast supporter of Ukraine, deploying ships, aircraft and land forces under Operation REASSURANCE to support NATO's measures to deter further Russian aggression. In particular, Canada is increasing its leadership contribution to NATO through the expansion of our presence in Latvia to a multinational brigade, with up to 2200 persistently deployed troops there by 2026. This includes investment to rapidly acquire military capabilities specifically for this mission, such as short-range air defence, munitions and command and communications systems.

Separately, Canada has committed $13.3 billion in multifaceted assistance to Ukraine, including armoured vehicles, main battle tanks, anti-tank weapons, small arms, artillery, ammunition, drones, demining equipment, and other materiel, sourced from Canadian Armed Forces inventory or purchased through partnerships with industry. The Canadian Armed Forces has delivered over 15 million pounds of military aid from Canada, allies and partners to Ukraine. Moreover, hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces personnel have deployed to Europe under Operation UNIFIER to train members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Since the start of Operation UNIFIER in 2015, the Canadian Armed Forces has trained more than 40,000 members of the Ukrainian military.

In 2022, Canada released our Indo-Pacific Strategy, under which Defence increased Canada's military presence in a region that is vital to global stability. Operation HORIZON boosted the Canadian Armed Forces' annual naval deployment from two to three surface combatants, and increased participation in international exercises and security cooperation with regional partners. Since 2018, Canadian frigates and maritime patrol aircraft have deployed to the Indo-Pacific as part of Canada's contribution to a multinational effort in support of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea. Operation NEON contributes to bolstering the integrity of the global sanctions regime. Canada has also worked successfully with partners to build capacity and increase cooperation on advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the Indo-Pacific.

In other regions of the world, the Canadian Armed Forces has engaged in a wide range of military activities, from combat and counter-terrorism operations to humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, training and capacity building. In the global commons, Canadian Armed Forces operations advance maritime security, cyber and space defence, and the sharing of information. Through Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces advances Canada's interests in the Middle East at a critical time. Through Operation PRESENCE, the Canadian Armed Forces contributes military capabilities to the UN system and UN peace missions around the world. In all operations, the Canadian Armed Forces supports Canada's Feminist Foreign Policy and our National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

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