What’s new for the Defence Team – Fall Posture Directive

October 23, 2020 - Defence Stories

The Defence Team has direction on continuing to carry out its missions and tasks in an active and resurgent COVID-19 environment. 

On September 24, the Deputy Minister and Chief of the Defence Staff signed the CDS/DM Directive for the Resumption of Sustained Activities in a COVID-19 Environment (Fall 2020 Posture), positioning DND/CAF for success this fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the initial Joint Directive for the Resumption of Activities promulgated on May 22, 2020, Defence Team members have been working in an environment altered by COVID-19 and are now living through a resurgence. With many factors shifting over the past few months, the Fall Posture Directive serves as a reset function to ensure the organization and its members share a common operating picture.

Sustaining activities in an active COVID-19 environment

Local clusters and resurgences present new challenges to Defence Team members and their families. In order to be prepared to respond to the needs of Canadians and those of our allies, we need to evolve and adapt to the current fight against COVID-19 during the resumption of activities across our organizations. Defence Team members are asked to find innovative ways to mitigate risk, enhance our resilience, and remain vigilant in an active COVID-19 environment. This is especially important during a time where children are back in school, businesses and services are open to the extent that their local public health officials permit, and some of our members have returned to the workplace. As colder weather approaches, Canadians will spend more time indoors and in even closer proximity. This, along with the danger of ‘pandemic fatigue’ setting in, calls for Defence Team members to ask for support when needed, and maintain readiness to be called upon at any time.

With the situation varying across the country, local commanders will respond to regional conditions while respecting the DM/CDS intent reflective in the directive. All L1 decisions and planning will include Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) and will consider factors including:

What remains the same?

It is important for Defence Team members to continue to abide by the Public Health Measures (PHM), understand the best practices prescribed by public health officials, and consult information on the Layered Risk Mitigation Strategy.

Since the COVID-19 resurgence is asymmetrical, it impacts the operations of bases and wings at different times and with varying severity. Local commanders and their chains of command will continue to adhere to local, municipal/provincial/territorial restrictions in consultation with their local Base/Wing/Regional Surgeon and adjust operations accordingly. Detachments, deployed personnel and those serving overseas supporting critical activities will be provided sufficient public health capacity to test, trace, isolate and control the spread, along with other protocols, if needed. Potential illnesses will be handled through retained medical capacity to avoid straining health systems and avoid being a threat to the communities operated in.

We will continue to rely on provincial/territorial or contracted processing facilities and testing, as well as the disciplined application of PHMs.

If staff are required to return to the workplace, supervisors must outline the appropriate risk mitigations and expectations, the mandatory training requirements, and the PHMs in place. All decisions and the rationale behind them will be communicated broadly and effectively.

What are my responsibilities as a Defence Team member?

As members of the Defence Team, we must maintain the ability to function safely in a COVID-19 threat environment by following Defence Team updates and important public health direction. Our collective efforts will ensure that we can continue to protect Canadians and defend Canada.

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