Activities – Domestic
- Through Operation LENTUS, the Canadian Armed Forces stand ready to answer the call to assist communities across Canada affected by natural disasters.
- In January 2020, approximately 400 women and men in uniform were deployed in Newfoundland and Labrador in response to record-breaking snowfall.
- In 2019, approximately 3,000 military personnel deployed across Canada to help local authorities respond to hurricanes, floods and forest fires.
- We will continue to ensure that the military is able to effectively respond to natural disasters despite the unprecedented challenges associated with COVID-19.
- We remain extremely proud of the work our women and men in uniform do to help Canadians across the country in their time of need.
- In 2020:
- 400 women and men deployed to Newfoundland and Labrador in response to a record-breaking snowstorm.
- 750 snow removal tasks and 80 medical movements supported (Canadian Armed Forces supported transportation to attend medical appointments).
- Two CH-130, one CH-146, one CH-148 and one CH-149 were used to assist in transportation of personnel and equipment.
- In 2019:
- 5 deployments to respond to hurricanes, floods, and forest fires.
- Approximately 3,000 military personnel deployed to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, including an evacuation of Pikangikum and Bearskin Lake First Nation communities in Ontario.
- Operation LENTUS is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)'s response to natural disasters in Canada.
- Provinces and territories can submit a request for federal assistance to the federal Minister of Public Safety, and the Minister of National Defence may authorize the CAF to perform any duty involving public service.
- The Minister of Public Safety, on the advice of the Government Operations Centre, may determine that CAF assistance is required and subsequently request assistance from the Minister of National Defence. Following the receipt of the request, the Minister of National Defence may authorize the CAF to perform any duty involving public service.
- Operation LENTUS follows an established plan of action to support provincial and territorial authorities as well as other Federal Government departments. This plan can be adapted to multiple situations. These might take the form of forest fires, floods, ice and snow storms, or hurricanes.
- The objectives of Operation LENTUS are to mitigate the effect of natural disasters on the populations by assisting federal, provincial, and local authorities. This includes reassuring the Canadian public through CAF presence and activity, providing humanitarian assistance to help prevent and ease suffering, and ultimately save lives.
- CAF personnel are prepared to respond rapidly and effectively to emergencies, and help affected Canadians in need.
- Op NANOOK is the Canadian Armed Forces' signature northern operation designed to exercise the defence of Canada and to secure our northern regions.
- Exercises conducted under Operation NANOOK improve our land, air and sea abilities to operate in a challenging environment requiring unique skillsets.
- Approximately 650 Canadian Armed Forces deployed under Operation NANOOK 2020.
- During these operations, the Canadian Armed Forces works with a variety of Allies and partners, including with Indigenous communities and federal and territorial governments.
- Canada also works with Allies and partners like the United States, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, and France.
- Operation NANOOK 2020 took place in two parts:
- February 24, to March 27, 2020
- August 4, to August 24, 2020
- Canadian Armed Forces infrastructure in the North includes:
- The North Warning System;
- Three NORAD forward operating locations
- Canadian Forces Station Alert;
- The Arctic Training Centre in Resolute Bay; and,
- The Nanisivik Naval Facility:
- Approximately 1,800 Rangers in the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group work in 60 communities throughout the North.
- Approximately 300 Canadian Armed Forces personnel stationed in Yellowknife with Joint Task Force North and other units.
CAF Capabilities in the Arctic
- In Strong, Secured, Engaged, National Defence committed to acquiring next generation surveillance aircraft, remotely piloted systems, and all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and larger tracked vehicles for use in the Arctic.
- National Defence has also taken the following steps to further improve the CAF's presence and ability to operate in the Arctic.
- Modernizing CAF capabilities in the Arctic, including through the acquisition for six new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels and supporting the modernization of the Inuvik Airport runway.
- Investing in a range of space capabilities, such as building the Polar Epsilon 2 ground stations to receive and exploit the RADARSAT Constellation Mission data in support of surveillance in the Arctic.
Other Operations in the North
- OP BOXTOP: The bi-annual resupply of Canadian Forces Station Alert and Fort Eureka.
- OP LIMPID: The routine, and contingency, domestic surveillance and control in Canada's air, maritime, land, and space domains.
- OP NEVUS: An annual operation to perform maintenance on the High Arctic Data Communications System.
Information Training Incident in Nova Scotia
- The Canadian Armed Forces regularly conducts training activities to ensure our members are ready to participate in operations abroad.
- This includes training to monitor and potentially counter complex adversarial information campaigns.
- These activities are essential to supporting the Canadian Armed Forces across the full spectrum of deployed operations.
- During a recent training exercise, a mock letter warning about the reintroduction of wolves into Nova Scotia – produced solely for training purposes – was mistakenly released to the public.
- I have asked the Chief of the Defence staff to investigate the incident, and he has ordered a pause to all non-mission essential training activities of this kind during the investigation.
- This was an unintentional, and regrettable incident and we apologize unreservedly to both the Government of Nova Scotia and their residents.
- As outlined in Strong, Secured, Engaged, the Defence Team has increased its capability to conduct operations in the information environment.
- The Halifax Rifles conducted an Influence Activities exercise in Camp Aldershot in Nova Scotia, 26-27 September 2020.
- The training was designed to test the capabilities and effects of a new loudspeaker system.
- A simulated information operation was conducted involving a fictional scenario of an increased wolf presence in the area.
- The exercise created a mock letter on NS Lands and Forests letterhead warning the public that wolves had recently been re-introduced to the Annapolis Valley
- The training initiative was not designed to be public facing and the mock letter did not follow the established approval process.
- Once the Canadian Armed Forces confirms that proper policies are in place for Influence Activities training, specific training will resume on a case by case basis.
- This exercise coincided with a Territorial Battalion Group (TBG) training event in the same area.
- The Influential Activities (IA) section sought to enhance the TBG experience by providing injects while concurrently achieving their own objectives.
- The IA Company specifically intended to demonstrate and measure the capabilities/effects of their new loudspeaker system. They chose wolf howling/barking as something that would be unusual but would nonetheless replicate local sounds. To reinforce the possibility of a wolf presence, they drafted a mock letter on NS Lands and Forests letterhead that warned the public that wolves had recently been re-introduced to the Annapolis Valley.
- The letter, added at the last minute, was intended to add to the training exercise. The intended methodology was to control distribution of the letters, project the animal sounds, analyze the effectiveness of the sounds through after action reviews, and retrieve the letters.
- This was a force-on-force training event. It was not intended to be public facing. All training audiences, for types of training for the entire spectrum of conflict, are played off against one another in order to enhance realism and test the CAF.
- The reasons why the letter was not clearly identified as an exercise or mock document are currently under investigation.
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