ARCHIVED - CDS / DM Message - OP ABACUS Successes Go Beyond Year 2000

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Backgrounder / January 1, 2000

To all CF personnel and members of the Department

CDS / DM Message – OP ABACUS Successes Go Beyond Year 2000

Ensuring a smooth transition to the Year 2000 was a priority effort for the Government of Canada, and it is with a great sense of pride that we can point to the positive role played by the Department and the Canadian Forces.

For over two years, the men and women of the Department and the Canadian Forces have worked hard to attain this objective. We swept through every system in the organization to ensure we were ready for the Year 2000 roll-over. We checked everything new and old, emphasizing compliance for our key operational equipment and vital information systems and networks. In the process, we analyzed, tested and fixed more than 8,000 systems. Through thorough analysis and planning, we also ensured the proper mechanisms were in place to command and support our missions, personnel, and families, both at home and abroad.

There can be no question that "Operation (Op) ABACUS" and our Year 2000 compliancy preparations represent major successes. From contingency planning, to ensuring the readiness of our own information systems, the coordinating role of the National Contingency Planning Group, and the support provided to the Government of Canada, we played a leading role in meeting the Government’s principal objective of maintaining public confidence.

Through Op ABACUS, we also achieved a very high state of operational readiness. Domestically, although the CF were not employed in response to any Year 2000 incidents, Op ABACUS was the largest nation-wide operation ever planned for by the Canadian Forces. It also provided a reminder to all Canadians of the national presence and value of the Canadian Forces in supporting the health, security and well-being of Canadians.

With our declaration of operational readiness for our mission essential equipment and the submission of our Op ABACUS contingency plan to the Government of Canada on 30 September 1999, Defence contributed directly to building public confidence in the Government’s ability to lead and manage the consequences of the Year 2000 transition.

Collectively, preparing for the Year 2000 represented a significant investment of time, people and money. The benefits of these investments go well beyond the smooth transition and Year 2000 roll-over period.

As a result of our Year 2000 investments, we are entering the 21st century more prepared than ever to deliver on many of our domestic responsibilities – from emergency preparedness, to emergency response, and the protection and security of our information systems. One of the benefits has been to strengthen the rapport developed with the other Government departments, the provinces and territories, industry, and our allies. Valuable lessons have been learned throughout the process that will benefit us all in the future. The importance of these lessons and the role played by the Department and the Canadian Forces should not be under-estimated.

You can be justifiably proud of the role you have played in ensuring the smooth transition to the year 2000. The success of Op ABACUS and the high state of preparedness of our mission critical systems is a direct reflection of your leadership, dedication, hard work and professionalism. We recognize the hardships placed upon you and your loved ones, especially during the holiday season, and are grateful for your, and their, understanding during these extraordinary circumstances. You and your families have made significant sacrifices to ensure we delivered.

To all men and women of the Defence Team, our personal thanks for a job extremely well done.

J.M.G. Baril
Chief of the Defence Staff


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