Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces Parliamentary Program

The Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Parliamentary Program is a unique opportunity for parliamentarians to experience first-hand the life of a CAF member. The program offers a perspective on the CAF’s professionalism and dedication, as well as its role at home and in international operations.

During the program, participants will work with CAF members while they perform their day to day activities and will:

  • work in a unique environment
  • attend operational briefings
  • see specialized military equipment
  • witness the teamwork and discipline that allows the CAF to be successful

Most importantly, participants will have the opportunity to work with proud Canadians who serve in the CAF.

The events planned for 2019 are:

Sail in a Canadian Royal Navy Patrol Frigate and experience life at sea

Parliamentarians will have access to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience life aboard one of Canada’s major warships, living among and interacting with the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) greatest ambassadors, its sailors, to gain a deeper understanding of their mission in service to Canada. They will also gain a perspective of what life is like at sea and understand the training that each sailor receives in addition to their actual job, seeing first-hand the complexity of each evolution and understanding how each sub-team interacts with others and as a whole ship’s company to produce an operational warship. While on board, elements of experiential exposure will include functions of the following:

A designated Senior RCN leader of Flag Officer rank will lead and accompany Parliamentarians for the duration of their participation in the program. This occurs at-sea and ashore, providing strategic context behind the extremely important work that RCN sailors do on, below and above the ocean in service to Canada. This is performed concurrently while showcasing the skills and technology the RCN employs in defence of Canada and in operations around the world.

Sail on the West Coast

You will spend three days and two nights aboard HMCS Ottawa, a Canadian Patrol Frigate with a crew of approximately 225. You will join the ship in Esquimalt, BC. Travel to and from Esquimalt, BC is the participant’s responsibility.

HMCS Ottawa

Date: 13-15 May 2019
Where: Esquimalt, BC – round trip
Attendance: limited space available

Sail on the East Coast

You will spend two days and one night aboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton, a Canadian Patrol Frigate with a crew of approximately 225. You will join the ship in Halifax, NS. Travel to and from Halifax is the participant’s responsibility.

HMCS Fredericton

Date: 19-20 June 2019
Where: Halifax, NS – round-trip
Attendance: limited space available

Sail in the Arctic

Below are opportunities to spend time aboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ville de Québec, a Canadian Patrol Frigate with a crew of approximately 225, patrolling the Eastern Arctic. Travel to and from specified ports is the participant’s responsibility.

HMCS Ville de Quebec

Dates:  2 - 7 Aug
Where:  St. John's, NL to Nuuk, Greenland
Attendance:  Up to 15 Participants

Dates:  7 - 13 Aug
Where:  Nuuk, Greenland to Nanisivik, NU
Attendance:  Up to 15 Participants

Dates:  16 - 19 Aug
Where:  Nanisivik, NU - Roundtrip
Attendance:  Up to 15 Participants

Dates:  19 - 24 Aug
Where:  Nanisivik, NU to Iqaluit, NU (via Nuuk, Greenland)
Attendance:  Up to 15 Participants

Dates:  24 - 28 Aug
Where:  Iqaluit, NU to St. John's, NL
Attendance:  Up to 15 Participants

Video: Your Royal Canadian Navy 2017

Get privileged access to the Canadian army’s largest and most complex military exercise

Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE is conducted at the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Center and is the most comprehensive Canadian Army training event of the year. The exercise involves thousands of Canadian Armed Forces military personnel, primarily from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group based in Edmonton,  as well as soldiers from the United States and Britain, who will work together in the most realistic setting possible short of an actual deployment. Travel to and from specified cities is the participant’s responsibility.

During this one-day program, you will have the opportunity to meet the Opposition Force and/or the Contemporary Operational Environment Force. You will be introduced to their strategies to gain ground on the field and you will interact with soldiers and allied forces conducting operations against the Canadian Armed Forces as part of a conventional enemy unit equipped with LAV 6.0 and tanks. You will visit the field camp and will meet with soldiers and actors who replicate the pattern of life of a typical village in a foreign country where the military could possibly be deployed.

Date: 14 May 2019
Where: Wainwright, AB
Attendance: Up to 20 participants

East Coast Combat Readiness Training

Exercise MAROON RAIDER, conducted at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, will see more than a thousand Canadian Army soldiers drawn from across the Atlantic provinces gather for a week-long confirmation exercise. The exercise enables soldiers to prove their skills and maintain a high level of readiness to respond to diverse challenges both at home and abroad. Exercise MAROON RAIDER is the culmination of the Full Time Summer Employment program.  The program employs hundreds of part-time soldiers who keep Canada’s Army strong through the Strengthening the Army Reserve initiative. Travel to and from specified cities is the participant’s responsibility.

Date:  21 August 2019
Where:  CFB Gagetown, NB
Attendance:  Up to 20 participants


Participate in a NORAD Aerospace Warning and Control Exercise

AMALGAM DART is an exercise to practice peacetime to wartime operations in the event of a potential air threat. It focusses on preparedness for aerospace warning and control missions. AMALGAM DART is one of the exercises carried out under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Your program will take place at 5 Wing, which is located at Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay in Labrador. The three-day event will include familiarization flights aboard a variety of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft, including an air-to-air refueling flight. On the ground, you will witness the fighter aircraft activities that are at the very core of Exercise AMALGAM DART and visit a deployed Radar Squadron to experience a NORAD mission from the Air Controller’s perspective. You will have the opportunity to witness 5 Wing’s daily operations, receive briefings, and tour 444 Combat Support Squadron. There you will meet its CH-146 Griffon helicopter technicians, pilots, aircrew, and other RCAF aviators whose primary mission is to provide rapid response to local emergencies during flight operations and military exercises taking place at 5 Wing.

5 Wing Goose Bay is a vibrant base that conducts and supports a wide variety of operations, including both joint and combined training. 5 Wing’s primary mission is to support NORAD operations for the projection of air power on the north and northeast coasts of Canada. Located on the northeast coast of Canada, its strategic location helps the Canadian Armed Forces and NORAD to protect North American airspace.

Overnight accommodations: Provided at 5 Wing. Flight to Goose Bay: On an RCAF aircraft from Trenton or Ottawa (subject to availability).

Date: 28-30 May 2019
Where: 5 Wing Goose Bay, NL
Attendance: Up to 10 participants

Video: RCAF Operations (2017)


For more information on the 2019 program, parliamentarians can contact the Directorate of Stakeholder Engagement.

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