On April 3, 2020, Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance issued a letter to the Canadian Armed Forces community. While he thanked the community for continuing to “protect and prepare the force,” he mentioned that there have been reported cases of people in the CAF community having COVID-19.
“To ready the force, we have taken measures to provide a large number of Primary Reservists with the option of a Class C (full-time employment) contract through to August 31st, 2020. I envision the Reserve Force serving initially within or close to their local communities, but prepared to regroup rapidly should operations demand,” shared Vance in the letter.
He noted that the force had taken measures to provide a large number of Primary Reservists with the option of signing a Class C contract through till August 31, 2020.
Active Posting Season
In regards to this year’s Active Posting Season (APS), he mentioned it continues to be worked on, and a CANFORGEN relating to this year’s APS had been released.
“I know questions exist and that every move has its own unique challenges. The APS is a priority for my senior leadership and for you, so we all need to work together to find solutions,” stated Vance
Along with the measure, there had been tough decisions made when it came to cancelling annual military events this year. Thus far, the Ceremonial Guard has been cancelled for this summer with other programs being reviewed, such as the National Sentry Program at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“As for our demonstration teams, such as the Snowbirds, the CF-18 Demo Team and the SkyHawks, the show season may well be cancelled. Change of command parades are prohibited and changes of command will be marked by small office ceremonies that respect health and safety,” noted the General.
Current dispersed posture continues
In regards to the current dispersed posture, it will continue till April 30, 2020, unless units or military personnel are tasked for operations.
“That means your place of duty remains at home, safe and ready for operations. Stay connected to your colleagues and chain of command for details about operational tasks.”
He noted in the letter that the chain of command was making every effort to cater to individual family circumstances, “while still ensuring we continue to deliver the assistance Canadians need. I encourage you to take early steps to ensure you, and your family, are ready,” in regards to family support.
Rapid and effective response
“The Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) team are planning with 1st Canadian Division and the Regional Joint Task Force Commanders and staff to ensure a rapid and effective response across the country. We have already responded to a number of requests for assistance and will be ready to do much more, particularly as we approach flood and forest fire season,” noted Vance
Vance went on to let the community know that the planning has restarted for individual training system in the colleges and schools where they are accounting for the reality of COVID-19. And while the CAF had paused all recruiting intake and training, files have continued to be processed.
He closed the letter noting, “Although there is a long weekend approaching, I must, in the strongest terms, ask you to stay focused on the mission at hand. Your mission remains to stay fit and healthy. Your home is your place of duty and where you must stay as much as possible. You and your family are too important to risk to COVID19 infection and we must not contribute to spreading the virus. This is a long haul, but we must stay the course. When the call comes to deploy, you must be ready.”
Read the full letter below: