Executive Summary

The overarching goal of Defence is to ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are equipped and prepared to protect Canadian sovereignty, defend North America, and contribute to international peace and security, including through a renewed commitment to United Nations (UN) led conflict prevention and peace support. In support of this goal, Defence will conduct an open and transparent review of the security environment, existing capabilities, and policies, forming the basis for a new strategic defence policy document for Canada.

To prepare for the future, the CAF will continue to develop capabilities in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, the cyber and space realms, and targeting processes. However, in addition to addressing capacity, National Defence needs to ensure proper alignment of the Defence Team to support these emerging capabilities. In 2016, a human resources strategy will be developed to better meet the future security environment.  

The uniformed and civilian members of the Defence Team are dedicated to serving and protecting Canada and Canadian interests at home and abroad. National Defence owes them a respectful and professional work environment. To that end, Operation HONOUR will establish and maintain a workplace free from harassment and discrimination, and work towards a permanent change in the attitudes and behaviours in the CAF.

National Defence takes its role as steward of public resources seriously. Through the Defence Renewal initiative, the Department of Defence will create a leaner, more agile and more effective military with an emphasis on strengthening front-line operations. By aggressively pursuing our Defence Renewal goals, we will deliver the best military capability for the best value for Canadians. Defence Renewal – and other strategic change initiatives – are interwoven in all our strategic activities, with responsible stewardship continuing as a guiding principle for all activities described in this document.

Blueprint 2020 (BP2020), the overarching Public Service approach to modernization, complements our Defence Renewal goals. In the year ahead, National Defence will continue to support the achievement of the BP2020 vision for a world-class public service that is open and networked, makes smart use of new technologies, embraces new ways of working, and takes a whole-of government approach to enhance service delivery.

In fiscal year 2016-17, National Defence will focus on activities that contribute to the Department’s two strategic outcomes. These outcomes, and associated program highlights, are summarized below.

Strategic Outcome: Defence Operations and Services Improve Stability and Security, and Promote Canadian Interests and Values

Defence Combat and Support Operations (Program 1.0) captures operations during which combat situations are more likely to occur. National Defence conducts operations across the spectrum, from routine surveillance and monitoring to combat operations abroad. The Department rarely works alone during operations. Domestic and international activities involve cooperation with other government departments and allies.

Operation highlights in 2016-17 include:

  • The CAF will protect Canadian sovereignty through domestic and continental defence operations. Surveillance and control of Canadian territory and approaches are key goals for many of these operations. In the Arctic, the CAF will exercise sovereignty through numerous activities, including but not limited to: Operation NANOOK, Operation NEVUS, Operation NUNALIVUT, Operation NUNAKPUT, and Operation QIMMIQ.
  • Canada’s contribution to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) remains an important element of our partnership with the United States in the defence of the continent and its approaches. National Defence will continue to fill established NORAD positions, contribute aircraft for NORAD monitoring, control, and interception activities, take part in assessing the Command and Control processes of the organization, and ensure the Command continues to successfully carry out its mission of aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in the defence of North America.
  • National Defence will cooperate with Canada’s partners in the Western Hemisphere on other continental defence operations. Planned operations include Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the multinational Operation MARTILLO, which prevents illicit trafficking of narcotics and weapons in the Caribbean Basin and Eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • National Defence will explore options to renew Canada’s commitment to UN peace operations such as offering specialized capabilities on a case-by-case basis, helping the UN respond quickly to emerging conflicts with well-trained personnel that can be quickly deployed, and playing a leading role in the training of UN peace operations personnel.
  • National Defence will protect the interests of the Government of Canada through continued participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Canada will fulfill NATO commitments by providing force elements to ongoing NATO operations and to NATO’s Response Force. For instance, in 2016-17 Canada will continue to support training and exercise activities in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, including as part of Operation REASSURANCE, NATO’s assurance measures in Central and Eastern Europe. Additionally, National Defence will, in coordination with NATO Allies, continue to provide training assistance to Ukrainian security forces as part of Operation UNIFIER.
  • Canada will continue to contribute to the Middle East Stabilization Force effort against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
  • The CAF will develop cyber forces, along with command and control options, to support operations in the cyber domain, enabling collaboration with other government departments when necessary.
  • National Defence will continue to establish a CAF joint targeting capability which is capable of engaging a range of targets at up to a strategic level.

Protection of Canada’s sovereignty and contributing to international peace are not the CAF’s only operational roles. A number of activities are carried out in the service of, and in cooperation with, other government departments and organizations. These activities take place within Program 2.0: Defence Services and Contributions to Government. Defence services comprise both safety related activities and those related to National Defence’s role in encouraging and sharing pride and awareness in the country’s military heritage.

  • In 2016-17 the CAF will remain prepared to undertake disaster relief and humanitarian operations domestically and internationally, when and as directed by the Government of Canada. The CAF will maintain the capabilities to minimize suffering, assist in recovery operations, collaborate with responding bodies, and conduct support functions during natural disasters, evacuations, and emergencies.
  • National Defence will continue to provide an array of services for Canadian safety and security, including support for major domestic events, counter-terrorism, and Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. The Department has the lead role for delivery of aeronautical SAR in Canada, and will maintain the capabilities to respond to emergencies on a 24 hours a day, 7 days per week basis where warranted.
  • National Defence will support other government departments in the fulfillment of their mandates through various operations including: Operation DRIFTNET against illegal fishing and Operation PALACI, which helps Parks Canada prevent avalanches in Rogers Pass, a transportation path through the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia.
  • National Defence has a sacred obligation to honour veterans and pay respect to past achievements, and does so through military heritage and outreach activities. This responsibility is especially important as we approach Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. To help mark Canada’s 150th year since Confederation, a 2.8-kilometre Memorial Route will be officially unveiled in 2017. The Memorial Route will link existing and future commemorative landmarks in Ottawa that have particular significance to Canada’s military traditions and history. The National Memorial to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan and the National Victoria Cross Tribute are included on the Memorial Route. The Kandahar Airfield (KAF) Cenotaph will be permanently installed at the Carling Campus, the new home of National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ), by 2017.
  • National Defence will continue to honour Canada’s military heritage through active outreach to educate and improve perceptions of the military in Canada. In 2016-17, the Department will conduct an Aboriginal Program Review, focussing on CAF Aboriginal outreach and recruitment.
  • National Defence will continue the renewal of the Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers programs to deliver relevant, effective, and efficient world-class youth development programs. The renewal effort will include an update of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Cadet Leagues, strengthened resource planning and performance measurement, and the implementation of a National Youth Program Public Affairs Strategy.

Strategic Outcome: Defence Remains Continually Prepared to Deliver National Defence and Defence Services in Alignment with Canadian Interests and Values

National Defence must be agile and responsive, with a well-equipped CAF capable of quickly responding to crises at home and abroad. Readiness requires the right mix of people, equipment and resources, and the requisite training to meet the tasks assigned by the Government of Canada. National Defence continually produces and renews force elements to ensure operational success and the timely, effective provision of Defence services. Activities related to these tasks take place within Defence Ready Force Element Production (Program 3.0). Highlights for 2016-17 include:

  • Maritime, land, air, and special operations forces will all participate in joint exercises as part of preparedness activities, such as Operation NANOOK, Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE, and Exercise MAPLE FLAG. The CAF will also take part in multinational joint training exercises such as Task Group Exercise (TGEX) and Exercise DETERMINED DRAGON with the United States.
  • Military personnel are the foundational capability element for National Defence. The Department will foster a training and health-and-fitness based culture, supporting personnel readiness to sustain operational excellence.
  • In support of force readiness, National Defence will continue to align and develop joint command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities. Each environment will organize coordination and command and control training programs in 2016-17.

Defence Capability Element Production (Program 4.0) activities ensure the CAF have the capabilities to sustain operational excellence. The primary elements of capability are military personnel, materiel and information systems, information, and real property.

  • The CAF will implement a new performance appraisal system, strengthen the Reserve Force, and restore 100% geographic coverage of Canada for recruiting.
  • National Defence will develop long-term strategies to care for ill and injured personnel and their families through improvements to the Joint Personnel Support Unit. The Department will also work in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada to improve transition support services.
  • Operation HONOUR is the CAF strategy for dealing with harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour. In 2016-17, the CAF will implement phases 2 and 3 of the strategy. Phase 2 involves the communication and application of discipline by commanders, education on inappropriate sexual behaviour, and the establishment of the Interim Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC(I)). During Phase 3, the CAF will issue revised policies and training for leaders, and transition the SMRC(I) to full operational capability.
  • National Defence will continue to prioritize the responsible stewardship of public funds by implementing Defence Renewal and Defence Procurement Strategy initiatives while delivering on capital projects and varied support requirements including maintenance execution, inventory, warehousing and departmental procurement.
  • Work on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy will continue, and National Defence will also work with the Department of Public Services and Procurement Canada to launch an open and transparent competition to replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft.
  • National Defence will continue to progress the Project Approval Process Renewal initiative as part of efforts to improve procurement outcomes.
  • Work is ongoing on several major modernization projects: HALIFAX Class Modernization (HCM), Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III Upgrade, Logistic Vehicle Modernization, Underwater Warfare Suite Upgrade, Canadian Cryptographic Modernization, and CP-140 AURORA Incremental Modernization.
  • Consistent with Defence Renewal initiatives, the Department will centralize management of its real property, by integrating Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army real property into the Defence Real Property (RP) portfolio. Centralization will facilitate the streamlining of the real property acquisition process, a real property condition assessment, and important environmental obligations.
  • Having the right information systems in place, in the right condition, is crucial to the functioning of a modern defence organization. National Defence will deliver on a consolidated, operationally focused, responsive, and efficient IM/IT approach in direct and indirect support of Defence Renewal initiatives, and that is aligned with Government of Canada IM/IT enterprise requirements.
  • As part of information systems activities, the Department will also implement a robust C4ISR Engineering and Architecture Programme to address CAF requirements.

The global security environment is complex and unpredictable. Defence Capability Development and Research (Program 5.0) helps National Defence evolve to meet new challenges and to more effectively address existing ones. Activities include identifying lessons from past operations, assessing defence and security trends, developing and integrating new knowledge and systems for conducting operations, conducting National Defence capability analyses, performing capability assessments, designing and assessing defence alternatives, and providing capability expertise.

  • Activities will focus on advancing CAF capabilities, doctrine and lessons learned in command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, force protection and sustainment and on developing capabilities in the emerging space and cyber domains. National Defence will develop an operational framework enabling the integration of cyber considerations into military planning and operations. Research activities for both emerging domains will facilitate collaboration with other government departments and contributions to joint efforts with allies.
  • National Defence will advance science and technology activities regarding All Domain Situational Awareness, Joint Targeting and contested urban environments.
  • A capability analysis will be done in support of Government of Canada direction to increase the size of the Canadian Rangers.
  • The lean headquarters initiative will identify ways to create a more agile NDHQ. It will also ensure Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions are better aligned to National Defence priorities.
  • Maintaining Force Posture in support of Government of Canada expectations is an important task within this Program. An integrated Force Posture and Readiness (FP&R) process to better inform stakeholders on the expected differences between supply and demand for National Defence capabilities has been developed. The 2016-2017 cost capturing will improve overall understanding of the relationship between assigned resources and operational outputs.

Internal Services (Program 6.0) support the needs of programs and the corporate obligations of National Defence. There are a wide variety of services associated with the program, including policy support, business optimization efforts, and Defence Team human resource initiatives. Highlights include:

  • National Defence, with Public Services and Procurement Canada and Shared Services Canada, will conduct Phase 1 of the transition to the Carling Campus, moving approximately 3,400 personnel to the new consolidated NDHQ site, and will complete detailed plans for Phase 2 and 3.
  • In keeping with business optimization efforts, National Defence will implement aspects of Workplace 2.0 at the new NDHQ at Carling Campus. An e-approval program will also be introduced, allowing the use of e-signatures wherever possible. Furthermore, the Department will continue to ensure the effective and efficient use of IM/IT and alignment with Government of Canada IM/IT enterprise priorities and directives.
  • National Defence will enhance the use and rigour of the Defence performance measurement system, facilitating the evaluation and development of Defence Team employees.
  • National Defence will develop an integrated DND/CAF HR Strategy to optimize the Defence Team, ensure effective resource allocation and alignment against priorities, and help identify resource needs and issues earlier.
  • Coinciding with Operation HONOUR, the civilian side of the Defence Team will also work to improve harassment prevention through new directives and messaging, along with relevant human resources performance metrics.
  • National Defence will begin to implement the Defence Employment Equity Action Plan 2016-2019, which will support diversity and promote a workplace that is reflective of Canada’s population.