Beginning his letter thanking families and members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their discipline and continuing to focus on preserving their health, the Chief of the Defence (CDS) Staff General Jonathan Vance released his weekly letter this afternoon.
He touched on several points: COVID-19 Response, Personnel and Training, people interested in re-enrolling, thanking people, and reminding the military community to stay home.
Addressing the main issue at hand, COVID-19 Response Vance noted, “Across Canada, Regional Task Forces, RCN (Royal Canadian Navy) ships and an Air Component have been prepared as we work towards allocating to CJOC up to 24,000 personnel, healthy, and ready, when needed.”
Along with receiving requests for assistance from Basse-Côte-Nord and Nunavik, which the Canadian Rangers have deployed to and are establishing triage and assessment sites along with promoting COVID-19 awareness programs, Vance noted, a team of Dental Technicians was helping the province of Ontario. Also, special medical teams are going to begin supporting the Government of Quebec to stabilize the situation in Long Term Care Facilities.
“Detailed attention to physical distancing, hygiene, use of PPE where you cannot assure yourself of physical distance and staying home when you can are mandatory parts of your role as a military member,” stated Vance.
“We are also doing vital work in transporting medical supplies and our professional logisticians are playing a key role in warehousing, management and distribution of medical supplies throughout Canada in support of the Public Health Agency.”
Both CFB Trenton and the Royal Military College of Canada are currently hosting personnel from OP Unifier and OP Impact for their two-week preventative isolation.
Personnel and Training
In regards to CAF colleges and schools, General Vance noted that they “will remain closed for training through the summer. We are doing detailed planning to re-open, and I expect we may have to expand our intake and individual training capacity in the months to come so we can grow the CAF as we have been directed to do.”
He also mentioned that there would be CANFORGENs issued shortly with information and policies regarding updates on PERs and succession management boards, promotions, compensation and benefits and Reserve Force employment, and residential housing units.
He encouraged people to address their concerns through their Chain of Command and through the Administrative Response Centre (ARC) team, which can be reached at 1-833-445-1182 and by email here.
Enrolment / Re-enrolment
He also encouraged members that had left the CAF but would like to return that “we are open for business.”
Noting the CAF is postured to receive applications and to expedite the processing where feasible.
“We are particularly interested in re-enrolling leadership (Sr NCOs), skilled trades, medical personnel, and pilots,” stated Vance.
Reminding People to Stay Home
He closed his letter reminding people to do all that they can to stay healthy as that is part of their military obligation right now.
“Detailed attention to physical distancing, hygiene, use of PPE where you cannot assure yourself of physical distance and staying home when you can are mandatory parts of your role as a military member,” stated Vance. “One person testing positive can have a significant impact on the availability for operations or their colleagues they work with, as anybody in contact must be isolated to prevent spread.”