According to the Department of National Defence, the strategic context in which the Canadian Armed Forces operates has shifted dramatically over the last decade or more—driven by an evolving balance of power, the changing nature of conflict, and the rapid evolution of technology. These new challenges demand a new response in the way the Forces operates and is funded.
Canada’s defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – is working to provide Canada with an agile, multi-purpose combat-ready military, operated by highly trained, well-equipped women and men, secure in the knowledge that they have the full support of their government and their fellow Canadians. Cyber Security is a piece of the overall strategy.
As a technical advisor for the Cyber Operations team in the Canadian Forces Network Operations Centre (CFNOC), Cpl Billings is one of the many dedicated men and women across Defence who are helping to implement the 111 initiatives contained within the Defence Policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged.
CFNOC is comprised of cyber operators who conduct defensive cyber operations, and at times, active cyber operations. Cyber operators work collaboratively with other government departments and agencies, as well as with Canada’s allies, the Five Eyes (United States, Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom), to enhance the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces ability to provide a secure cyber environment.
In 2016, National Defence set out to determine how best to confront threats and challenges in the years ahead. As part of this comprehensive review, the Defence Team turned for input to parliamentarians from all parties, to industry, academia, partners, allies, and interested Canadians through unprecedented consultations. Nine roundtables were held across the country, including discussions dedicated to industry and innovation, gender perspectives, and Indigenous issues. As well, over 20,000 Canadians provided their feedback on the defence policy review through an online portal.
This policy outlines Canada’s defence priorities for the coming 20 years and provides the funding necessary to meet Canada’s defence needs now and into the future. It articulates how the Government of Canada will support and employ the Canadian Armed Forces to defend domestic interests and contribute to a more secure and peaceful world.
Strong, Secure, Engaged provides a vision for defence that will make Canada:
- Strong at home, its sovereignty well defended by a Canadian Armed Forces also ready to assist in times of natural disasters, other emergencies, and search and rescue
- Secure in North America, active in a renewed defence partnership in NORAD and with the United States
- Engaged in the world, with the Canadian Armed Forces doing its part in Canadian contributions to a more stable, peaceful world, including through peace support operations and peacekeeping
Central to achieving this vision is the ability to anticipate new challenges, adapt to changing circumstances, and act decisively with effective military capability. In turn, this demands that Canada has an agile, multi-purpose, combat-ready military that is operated by highly-trained, well-equipped, and professional personnel. Given the uncertainty and complexity of the global security environment, now and into the future, a flexible and versatile Force that can take informed, decisive action to accomplish the Government’s objectives is essential to the military’s operational effectiveness and long-term success.
Strong, Secure, Engaged focuses on defence priority areas, which are reflected and reinforced in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces 2018-19 Departmental Plan.
- Fostering well-supported, diverse, and resilient people and families with a wide range of initiatives that transform how personnel are cared for and supported—from recruitment through transition to post-military life. Canada cannot meet its defence needs without dedicated, motivated, and highly skilled people. National Defence will implement concrete actions that ensure personnel and their families are well supported and resilient: physically, psychologically, and socially.
- Growing and enhancing Canadian Armed Forces capability and capacity by providing the Defence Team with the training and skills required to do the difficult and complex work asked of them. Under Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Regular Force will grow by 3,500 to 71,500 members and the Reserves will increase by 1,500 to 30,000 members. In addition, Defence will align its strategic and operational plans to ensure the Canadian Armed Forces is able to conduct the full range of operations, whether it is helping Canadians in times of need or making meaningful contributions to international peace and security.
- Exploiting defence innovation by ensuring that the Defence Team can tap into creativity and expertise available outside of government. It will compete for the best research, technology, and new ways of doing things to take advantage of the most ground-breaking concepts generated by academics, universities, and the private sector. Strong, Secure, Engaged commits to innovation and research in emerging domains as well as investment in critical areas such as intelligence.
- Modernizing the business of Defence by continuously improving the way the Defence Team works—streamlining the procurement process, adopting innovative ways of delivering critical infrastructure services, and working as efficiently and effectively as possible to deliver results. It also means being a responsible steward of the environment by reducing the environmental footprint of National Defence, minimizing the impact of its activities on the natural environment, and managing resources responsibly.
“This carefully crafted and comprehensive investment plan will ensure the Canadian Armed Forces remain ready and able to take on the missions the Government of Canada asks of it, and has the necessary resources to get the job done, whatever the assignment.” shared Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister Department of National Defence.