Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 23 - Evidence, September 25, 2003


QUEBEC, Thursday, September 25, 2003

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 1:55 p.m. to examine and report on the need for a national security policy for Canada.

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.

[English]

The Chairman: It is my privilege to welcome you to the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence. Today the committee will hear testimony on the current situation of our Naval Reserve. My name is Colin Kenny. I am a senator from Ontario and I chair the committee.

On my immediate left is the distinguished senator from Nova Scotia, Michael Forrestall. Senator Forrestall has served the constituents of Dartmouth for the past 37 years, first as their member of the House of Commons and then as their senator. Throughout his parliamentary career, he has followed defence matters and served on various defence- related parliamentary committees, including the 1993 Special Joint Committee on the Future of the Canadian Forces.

On my far right, at the end of the table, is Senator David Smith from Ontario. Senator Smith was a Toronto councillor and deputy mayor. Subsequently he was elected to the House of Commons and was appointed minister of state in the government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. He was appointed to the Senate in 2002. He has had a distinguished career as a lawyer and serves on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

Beside him is Senator Jack Wiebe, from Saskatchewan, who served as Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan and as a member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly before his appointment to the Senate in 2000. Senator Wiebe is a farmer. He is also Deputy Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and sits on the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament and our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

On the far left of me at the table is Senator Tommy Banks from Alberta, well known to Canadians as one of our most accomplished and versatile musicians and entertainers. He was appointed to the Senate in 2000. Senator Banks, in addition to creating his popular television show, has been a recipient of a Juneau Award and the Grand Prix du Disque. Senator Banks is the Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources and currently his committee is studying nuclear safety and control.

Beside him is Senator Norm Atkins from Ontario. He came to the Senate in 1986 with a strong background in the field of communications and with experience as adviser to former Premier Davis of Ontario. Senator Atkins is a member of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and also of the Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration. He serves as Chair of the Senate Conservative Caucus.

Our committee is the first permanent Senate committee mandated to examine security and defence.

Over the past 18 months we have completed a number of reports, beginning with ``Canadian Security and Military Preparedness.'' This study, which was tabled in February 2002, examined the major defence and security issues facing Canada.

Then the Senate asked our committee to examine the need for a national security policy. So far, we have released three reports on various aspects of national security: First, ``Defence of North America: A Canadian Responsibility,'' which was published in September 2002; the second, ``An Update on Canada's Military Crisis: A View From the Bottom Up,'' which was published in November 2002; and most recently, ``The Myth of Security at Canada's Airports,'' which was published in January 2003.

The committee is continuing its long-term evaluation of Canada's ability to contribute to security and defence in North America, having heard from witnesses regarding coastal defence earlier this week.

Today, we will hear from representatives of the Naval Reserve, whom we visited earlier today.

Our witness this afternoon is Captain Viateur Tremblay, Deputy Commander of the Naval Reserve. Captain, we understand you have some remarks you would like to make — vous avez la parole.

Captain (N) Viateur Tremblay, Deputy Commander, Naval Reserve, Department of National Defence: Honourable senators, I am here to replace my superior, Commander William O'Connell, Commander of the Naval Reserve, who is unable to be here today for health reasons.

I have been a regular force officer since 1974. It is indeed a great opportunity to explain the importance of the Naval Reserve. I want to convey the message that this is a successful organization. We do something that no other reserve force does, and we do it well. We are properly resourced and proud to serve the nation in very specific missions that the regular force is not undertaking.

The Naval Reserve is sometimes an unknown resource. Over the past decades, both the defence and public sectors have been experiencing changes. Military members functioned in a peacetime environment, with high overhead and low risk. Increasingly, the military must meet more operational requirements with fewer resources. With the increased demands have come increased decision-making abilities, added responsibilities and control of their own resources. With this new style of operation, delegation of authority and responsibilities come new challenges.

A brief explanation of our history is, I believe, necessary to give you an understanding of what we are today.

The Naval Service Act received Royal Assent on May 4, 1910, giving birth to the Royal Canadian Navy. Commander Walter Hose, who had transferred to the fledgling RCN from the Royal Navy, was key in creating the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, which was approved on May 14, 1914.

The period from 1914 to 1945 saw enormous changes in the navy. By the end of World War 1, the RCNVR had grown to 6,000 men, but was disbanded only two years later. By the beginning of World War 11, the RCNVR had managed to re-establish itself and had grown to 16 divisions.

The end of World War 11 saw Canada with the world's third largest navy, and the merging of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve with the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserves. The next few decades saw equally tumultuous changes in the navy.

The mid-1980s saw the start of major changes for the Naval Reserve. New Naval Reserve divisions were stood up and in 1983-84, Naval Reserve Headquarters was moved from Halifax to its current location in Quebec City. Prime Minister Chrétien officially opened the Pointe à Carcy naval complex on May 20, 1995. This complex includes the following entities: Naval Reserve Headquarters, the Canadian Forces Fleet School Quebec, which you visited this morning, HMCS Montcalm and the naval museum. It also serves as the support base for the Compagnie Franche de la Marine, the National Band of the Naval Reserve, and the Sea Cadet Corps Champlain, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this summer.

The White Paper ``Challenge and Commitment'' was presented to Parliament on June 5, 1987. The thrust of the new policy was to define the move from a force-in-being to a ``Total Force'' mobilization concept, based on reserve forces. The White paper assigned the Naval Reserve two main roles: naval control of shipping and maritime coastal defence, including mine countermeasures. Naval Reserve divisions were assigned tasks and specific manning levels by Maritime Command. Teams to man naval control of shipping units and harbour defence teams were defined. In addition, the maritime coastal defence vessel program was launched in the early 1990s.

The Naval Reserve is one of the three major components, called formations, of the Maritime Command: MARLANT, which you visited this week, MARPAC on the West Coast, and the Naval Reserve. We are on an equal footing.

The 24 Naval Reserve divisions are the point of entry for any Canadian who joins the Naval Reserve. They are situated across Canada, and unit size varies from 100 to 300 people.

The divisions are composed of citizens who have chosen to dedicate a few hours every week and a few weeks every year in the interest of their country's defence. These part-time volunteers represent more than one-third of the navy's total strength. There is no question that the Naval Reserve is an integral part of the navy and plays a crucial role in promoting and protecting Canadian interests.

Today, the Naval Reserve establishment is set at 4,053 funded positions. It could grow slowly, to 5,000, but must maintain the same funding envelope. The ratio of male to female is approximately 69/31, with a proportional representation of English to French of 73/27. Although our establishment allows us to employ 5,130 reservists, the reality today is that of the currently serving 3,900 reservists, 1,017 are under training. This leaves us with close to 2,900 available for employment, either at the division on Class A part-time service or on Class B full-time service. However, over 50 per cent of our trained personnel are already employed full time.

This fiscal year, the Naval Reserve will operate on a budget of approximately $72 million. Funding for the Naval Reserve is based on prioritized activities, determined by directives from Maritime Command. Any change in the budget will determine which activities are to be completed. The budget is divided into two categories: posting and careers, and training.

In ``posting and careers,'' we have the manning of MCDVs, the Class A and B positions at the NRDs, the headquarters and fleet school, on-the-job training, travel and allowances.

In an effort to use resources effectively, Maritime Command has assigned the Naval Reserve specific tasks that demand a high standard of naval expertise but do not always require full-time operational commitment. Thus, the Naval Reserve mission is to provide Maritime Command with trained personnel for the manning of combat and support elements, within the Total Force concept and framework, to meet Canada's naval defence objectives in time of peace, crises or war.

In real terms, this means that the Naval Reserve must recruit, train and maintain enough of the right people to man MCDV crews. In addition, we must provide port security units, naval control of shipping units and port inspection diving teams. Our vision is to generate and sustain highly trained, combat-capable personnel to fulfill the missions assigned to us. We will exploit leading-edge technologies and opportunities with the public sector to optimize sustainability and training while practicing ethical leadership and sound management techniques.

The Kingston class maritime coastal defence vessels are crewed and operated by reservists. There are 2 regular force members on board. There are 12 of these ships, 6 on each coast. We man 10. The primary mission of the MCDVs is coastal patrol and surveillance. The other missions of the MCDVs are: control of Canadian maritime areas; seabed operations, including route mapping and bottom object inspection; search and rescue; support to other government departments, such as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the CCRA and the RCMP; humanitarian operations; training; and public affairs.

A role that is specific to the Naval Reserve is the naval control of shipping, or NCS. The mission of NCS is to carry out the tasks associated with the planning, organizing and conduct of national, NATO and allied operations. NCS also controls the movement of merchant shipping during crises and contingency operations for the purpose of ensuring the safe and timely transit of cargoes through a conflict area. I have brought an expert to discuss this later, should you wish to.

The mission is accomplished in partnership with the civil direction of shipping organization, whose functions are performed by Transport Canada and adjacent naval commanders through tracking, routing, communicating, and arranging for protective forces, depending upon the risk. If the threat to merchant shipping increases to a level where significant losses are sustained or if vital cargoes must be protected, the naval commander may activate convoy commodore units to control merchant ship convoys. NCS units will normally operate in a low intensity conflict environment, either ashore or afloat. Canadian NCS units and convoy commodore units can be deployed in purely Canadian operations or in multinational efforts abroad.

The NCS branch is in the process of adding maritime intelligence to their field of expertise.

The mission of port security is to provide for security of harbours, anchorages and their immediate approaches, up to the high water mark, in time of crisis and during contingency operations. This is accomplished through the use of small boat patrol assets, vessel inspection, port inspection divers, vessel traffic control and port operations coordination. Liaison and coordination with foreign military forces and other Canadian government authorities and civilian agencies are critical to the success of port security operations. Port security units will normally operate in a low-intensity conflict environment, within a secure rear area. They can be deployed either in Canada or abroad. We have been providing elements of port security units to Esquimalt and Halifax since October 2001.

The port inspection divers are a complement to port security and mine countermeasures. The mission of the dive teams is to support port security units in the conduct of port security and defence of ships against underwater attacks and MCDVs in mine countermeasures. They also perform the following tasks: underwater searches, surveys of the ocean floor, inspections of jetties and ship hulls, search and rescue operations, and protection of ships against underwater sabotage.

Our challenges are the following: difficulties in recruiting in some regions; the recruitment of young people — 16 years of age — and/or in post-secondary education, creating conflict between school and training; budget restrictions; upgrades required for computer-based training; new mandates, including new training requirements such as environment, harassment, ethics, et cetera; retention of trained personnel, causing a shortage in some areas; conflict with civilian employment and family circumstances, which can create difficulties with commitments; difficulties with communication and support within the organization and to the community; training flexibility, such as difficulties for high school students or personnel employed full time — that is, non-students; changes in training requirements, such as new courses, current courses requiring longer commitments or a backlog of personnel awaiting training; MCDVs' conflict between training and operational platforms, creating a very heavy sea schedule, with the usual stressors on the individuals.

The above list can be considered the normal challenges of a complex organization. I do not want to leave the impression that we are underfunded or unsupported. Given the resource pressures, the support from Maritime Command staff has been excellent for several years and we have therefore been able to fulfill the mission when tasked.

As you can see, the Naval Reserve is a vital component of the Canadian navy and the Canadian Forces. We have been assigned specific operational roles that are not performed by the regular force. Naval Reserve dedication and preparation for operational missions is noteworthy. Additionally, where the Canadian Naval Reserve has operated at an international level, it has gained a reputation for bringing a high degree of professional knowledge and conduct to the task at hand. It can be said without reservation that the Naval Reserve and regular force form an effective partnership in this very lean, Total Force Maritime Command. We have had, and always will have, challenges to overcome. We will continue to strive for excellence in all aspects of our service, no matter what the mission assigned.

Honourable senators, this concludes my presentation, but I would like to present the members of my team whom I have brought with me. I have Capt. Edmonds, who is a specialist in personnel and training.

Cdr. Kim Kubeck is the project manager for the transition of naval control of shipping to maritime intelligence; LCdr. Garnon, our comptroller, or finance officer; and LCdr. Moutillet is our policy officer.

We are open to your questions.

Senator Wiebe: Thank you, captain, for an excellent presentation. I think this is the first presentation we have had in which someone has said that they are not underfunded, so it is rather refreshing to hear. I have a special spot for reservists, having been a reservist myself during my university days, but my questions this afternoon will be centred more on the MCDV program. This is certainly one of the most popular programs for reservists within the navy, and maybe you could run through for me the ability to staff those 10 ships.

It is my understanding that there are two regulars to each ship and the rest are reservists. The commanding officer is a reservist and serves for one year, I understand, and he is also then a full-time reservist during that term.

How do you staff the rest? Are they full-time reservists as well? Do you have any difficulty finding the manpower to staff those vessels?

Capt. Tremblay: It would be my pleasure.

With all due respect, I never said we were underfunded. I said there were challenges in the funding, but manageable ones.

The MCDV manning is an interesting question. The shore crew is 31 people, 2 regular force and 29 reservists. We can go up to about 40 people on board. Normally, COs will be assigned for a two- to three-year period on board ships. We try to keep them for one year at a minimum. It is the same with the rest of the crew.

We have an establishment for each ship and every position has specific qualification requirements — courses that must be taken and so on.

We are manning 10 of those. We have to provide, at any one time, between 300 and 350 qualified people for various positions on those crews. I have about 2,900 qualified people throughout the Naval Reserve. Hopefully, out of those 2,900, I can always provide enough people to man the 350 positions on board ship. We have a system whereby people declare their availability to headquarters. They will say that they are available for 6 months, 8 months, 10 months, one year, two years, or for a long time. We keep track of the qualifications and availability of every person. That is the pool. Then we have the draw, which is those 350, and we know when those contracts start and when they finish, at what levels they are. Career managers will draw from the pool to replace the person, or to bring the person with the right qualifications on board ship. We have a very good human resources management system. It is all computerized, so we know exactly whom we have and when they are available.

Are there challenges? We are managing successfully, although for some trades, like engineers, the people who man the engine rooms, the number of tickets is a little low, and sometimes we have to transfer a person from one ship to the next when the ship sails. However, in general, we can manage quite successfully with the pool we have now.

Does that answer your question?

Senator Wiebe: It does partially. When the pool is short of personnel at a specific time, do you then bring in regular personnel?

Capt. Tremblay: Except for those two people who are designated billets on board, we have not to date, although there are people in the regular force who are requesting transfers to the Naval Reserve in some trades. If we needed to, I suppose we could always go to the regular force, but we have not had to do so because we have successfully filled the positions.

Senator Wiebe: With the exception of the commanding officer, what would be the average term of service for a naval reservist?

Capt. Tremblay: The terms of service are what the reservists choose. They may be on board today, and if they decide that something most appealing has come up downtown, they will leave and give us good notice. Some people may serve for three months, six months, a year, two years, three years. They may extend their service if they get promoted, or they may want to join another ship. Some people have been at sea continuously, I would say, since 1995.

Senator Wiebe: However, you have no idea what the average length of service would be?

Captain (N) David Edmonds, Chief of Staff, Personnel and Training, Naval Reserve, Department of National Defence: The average length would be somewhere in the order of a year to a year and a half, and we do have quite a number of people who have in fact chosen to do this full time for a period. In other words, they do not have a civilian job at the moment, so they make a conscious choice to stay with the navy.

Senator Wiebe: These would be individuals who do not have a civilian job, as you say, at the time, or younger people who have never had job or for whom there are no jobs available. Would that be a correct assumption?

Capt. Edmonds: Yes, in part. Also, we do provide a large number of people to the regular force. We have a lot of people who are perhaps ready to commit to the regular force, but want to try the military way of life first. Therefore, they decide to spend some time with the reserve.

Senator Wiebe: I ask these questions because we were told yesterday in Valcartier that there is a growing demand now for reservists to serve overseas in places like Bosnia and so on. They are finding that the reservists are young people who do not have a job, and it is difficult to get qualified reservists who have the training, but who do have jobs and are unable to get the necessary time off to take that posting.

You are experiencing the same problems. How valuable, or how active, is the Canadian Forces Liaison Council in helping you in this regard Canada-wide?

Capt. Edmonds: We have had good relations with the CFLC. They are very supportive of our needs. We do extensive liaison work with them when our ships go from port to port, especially the smaller ships. They can get into a lot of ports that the largest ships cannot, and we make every effort to provide them with opportunities to show off their skills. The provincial liaison officers have been very supportive.

Senator Wiebe: They have been supportive, but has the program worked?

Capt. Edmonds: It has worked to a certain extent. There are certainly employers who are supportive of time off for their people, but there are also those who, despite our best efforts to show what military skills sets can bring to the workplace, are simply unable, for any number of reasons, to help us out.

Senator Wiebe: It seems that in Canada, the emphasis will be placed more on reservists in fulfilling the commitments that our country is asking of the Armed Forces. We are the only NATO country that does not have a law requiring mandatory compliance by corporations and companies in granting proper time off to employees to serve in the Armed Forces.

Do you foresee a problem if the country demands more and more use of reservists?

Capt. Edmonds: There is the ability to call people out in time of national emergency, and there is limited employment security. Certainly it would be an issue with which we would have to deal.

If we had to go beyond our core of serving people now, those who are truly available for a longer term, then we could potentially have some difficulty.

Senator Wiebe: However, keeping the 10 coastal vessels operational is not a difficult problem at this time?

Capt. Edmonds: It is certainly a challenge. We have to be able to roll with quite a few punches. We have to be very flexible. Our training program has to be very flexible as well. We have had to modularize a lot of our training courses — in other words, arrange them into shorter blocks so that people can get that amount of time off from their civilian employment to take the appropriate training.

Few people can take time off from their civilian job for a two-month course, but if you arrange it into two-week blocks and also utilize computer-based training — and I believe we have been a leader in that — it becomes an achievable end for the majority of our people.

Senator Wiebe: I know training goes on continuously, but is training also part of the coastal defence vessels program?

Capt. Edmonds: It is in fact a very big part of what we do. We do surface officer training. We are constantly training, because the nature of the reserve, of course, is that we have people continuously cycling through from military life to civilian life and so forth.

Senator Wiebe: When people are serving on a coastal defence vessel, whether for three months, a year or a year and a half, do they automatically become full-time reservists during that time?

Capt. Edmonds: Yes. In fact, they are on Class C service during that time, which means that they receive the same terms of service, benefits and so on as their regular force counterparts.

Senator Wiebe: That leads to my next question. Does Class C service allow someone to pay into a pension plan?

Capt. Edmonds: No yet, no. That is the last piece of the puzzle, the impending introduction of the pension plan for reservists. It is a very significant issue for us, and is due to come into effect on April 1, 2005.

Senator Wiebe: If that were available, would it help in retention of reservists?

Capt. Edmonds: Without a doubt. It is more of an issue, I would say, for the full-time people, and they would ultimately be paying into a plan that would be equivalent to that of their regular forces counterparts. Even for the part- time people, all those nights that they come in after work and then go back to their civilian job the next morning is, as you well know, a difficult situation. It would be significant to them to receive something at the end of their career.

The Chairman: Just to clarify that, when you said it is due to come into effect at the start of the next fiscal year, do you have any doubt about it?

Capt. Edmonds: That is 2005, sir, not 2004.

The Chairman: It is working its way through the legislative process as we speak? The bill has not been passed?

Capt. Edmonds: No, sir, not yet.

The Chairman: Then what is the status of this? Is it a proposal that has come forward and been dealt with by the cabinet? Is Senator Forrestall correct that the legislation has not yet been drafted?

Capt. Edmonds: It is my understanding that it is within the legislative process. The explanation that we have been given is that the legislation should be passed, I believe, by the end of 2004, to come into effect on April 1, 2005.

The Chairman: To save the committee's time, could we perhaps ask you to provide correspondence on it to the clerk? That would be the simplest way. I must say, as parliamentarians, we have great difficulty predicting when things will go through Parliament, and I would be intrigued if the navy had a better fix on it than we do.

Capt. Edmonds: I doubt that we would have a better fix on it than you have, sir. We are very hopeful and have been led to believe that this is the case.

The Chairman: I am content to have something in writing on it to share with the committee.

Capt. Edmonds: Yes, sir, we will have something in writing.

Senator Banks: Just to continue with the same line of questions, Capt. Tremblay, I would like to address not only the question of pensions, but the entire context of pay and benefits for reserve officers, particularly those on Class B contracts of 3 years or 190 days and longer. Do you contemplate those things being addressed in the legislation about which you are talking? Could you give a broader answer than merely pension issues, or are those things up for consideration?

Capt. Tremblay: Are you talking about the essential difference between Class B and Class C?

Senator Banks: Yes. If two officers or seamen are sitting next to one another and doing the same job on the same ship, and one is a reserve person and the other is a regular force person, I would like to know what are the practical differences between the pay and benefits of those two persons, and what you contemplate they might be after the passage of the legislation to which you have referred.

The Chairman: Senator Banks, for clarity, I wonder if it would be more appropriate if we asked for a document that listed A, B and C, and then the pay, the benefits and the pension rights for each one, so that we can make a clear comparison. You are looking for A, B, C and regular forces?

Senator Banks: Yes, exactly. As they are now and as you hope they will be.

The Chairman: Therefore we are looking for two documents, one showing the world as it is now, and the second the way you expect it to be at the start of the fiscal year in 2005. If there are differences between officers and other ranks, we would expect you to demonstrate those as well.

Senator Banks: For example, under pay and benefits, dental care is covered, not covered, is covered at 80 per cent, or whatever it is.

Capt. Tremblay: Understood.

Senator Banks: Thank you very much.

You talked about port security, which is one of our favourite subjects, and to which we have been paying great attention over the last several months.

You said that port security was among the missions of the Naval Reserve, including security of borders, of harbours, anchorages and approaches up to the high water mark, and you have been providing elements of port security in both Esquimalt and Halifax since October 2001. By ``port security,'' do you mean the security of naval facilities in those ports?

Capt. Tremblay: That is correct, sir. We do not provide security to Victoria Harbour or Halifax Harbour. We are talking about the naval facilities.

Senator Banks: I thought that was so. You mentioned also that you are in the process of adding maritime intelligence to the capability of the naval —

Capt. Tremblay: Naval control of shipping.

Senator Banks: How can you conduct a naval operation without maritime intelligence?

Capt. Tremblay: We have always had maritime intelligence, but it was not in the Naval Reserve mandate as such. You cannot conduct any operations without intelligence. However, most of our operations are conducted close to Canadian shores and the naval control of shipping role will remain, but we have added a facet of maritime intelligence.

I asked Cdr. Kubeck, who is charge of that project, to be here to explain. Could I have her testify?

Senator Banks: Certainly.

My question, commander, was for instruction more than anything else — the idea of a naval force that has been in existence since 1910 now saying we will add maritime intelligence.

Commander Kimberley Kubeck, Project Manager, Naval Control of Shipping — Intelligence, Department of National Defence: Yes, sir, it is a new role for the Canadian Reserve. The navy has had naval intelligence officers for years. Part of the Intelligence Branch is a sub-occupation of army, air force and navy. So we will now be a sub-occupation within the intelligence sea.

Senator Banks: So you are adding intelligence persons.

Cdr. Kubeck: Right, sir. We are effectively adding a surge capability to the two surveillance centres — to the admiral for when he needs to use additional personnel, particularly with our merchant shipping skill set that we bring to the table. That is always part of the problem of sorting out what is moving on the water on the East Coast and West Coast. That is the primary impetus for this one.

Senator Banks: When one of those costal defence vessels is out there now, does it have access to the best available intelligence today?

Cdr. Kubeck: Yes, sir. The two surveillance centres —one on each coast — run by the navy provide the appropriate intelligence for those vessels and whatever they are doing.

Senator Banks: Do you have access to that?

Cdr. Kubeck: Yes we do. In fact, we have people there on contract now. It is a formal recognition of the role we have been doing for about 10 years, sir.

Senator Banks: Good.

Captain, you mentioned that among the challenges, was the fact that there is a conflict between training platforms and operational platforms. This morning we heard, by way of example, that the alternators at the school on which people train are not the alternators that they will be dealing with when they get on to an MCDV. If that is saving any money, it seems to me to be a false economy. Is that among the things that could be fixed easily and pretty?

Capt. Tremblay: The first question that you brought, if I am correct, is in respect of the challenges between training and operation.

Senator Banks: People should train on things that look, to the best extent possible, like the things they will actually operate when they get on a ship.

Capt. Tremblay: Yes, sir. It is true that the parts on the engineering simulators are not the same as those on board the MCDVs. However, I have a group working on a new engineering simulator that is similar to the navigation simulators. The company makes the same type of simulators. They use computer-generated pictures and so on. You can mesh them with the navigation simulator and work the bridge parts and the engineering parts together.

This organization was established in 1995, eight years ago. Since that time, we have introduced a new class of ship and a new concept of manning. We are a touch behind in the engineering mock-ups that we need to trade. However, you are correct in saying that we should train on the kit that will be operated.

We provide a lot of training. Here, we provide some theoretical training, but the largest part of the training occurs on the ships on the coast. On the ships, instructors give them hands-on experience flashing up the gear and shutting it down. It would be ideal if we had more here in the school, but a pump is a pump, an alternator is an alternator. However, you are right, it would be better.

We do a lot of officer training, such as Maritime Surface, MARS, officer training on the MCDVs. The trainees like to do the job for which the ship was designed — route surveys — which is much more interesting than doing navigation or manoeuvres day in and day out. The hands-on activities are more of a challenge — they are looking at the bottom of the ocean and playing with fancy gear. They prefer the operations to the training. However, we have a lot of officer, trade and engineer shortages, so we do a lot of training.

Senator Banks: How far away do you think that engineering simulator is from becoming installed and up and running — give or take a nickel?

Capt. Tremblay: We did the Naval Part Task Trainer in about two years. We have been working on this for about six months. Therefore, if it is approved, it should be another 18 months.

Senator Banks: It is at a point that you have asked for the resources to do it.

Capt. Tremblay: We have prepared the statement of capability deficiencies. We know what we are looking for; we know what we are missing; and we know what is available, so it is a matter of staffing the project to the Chief of Maritime Staff in Ottawa and whether funds and staff are available.

We have done well in the past. Our projects, as I mentioned, we have been well taken care of by the admiral. We have done well in difficult times. These are challenging times, but we are managing, and I hope we will continue to manage

Senator Forrestall: I would like to talk about the Kingston class? The last one was delivered and had at least five years in operation.

Capt. Tremblay: I think the first one was about 1995 and the Brandon was in 1998.

Senator Forrestall: I thought it was 1998. I would like to know about their suitability for the role and whether or not the vessel is capable of meeting its mission. In other words, did the planners come up with the right vessel? If you had a second generation, what changes would you make?

Capt. Tremblay: The role of the Naval Reserve is to provide trained manpower for the missions that the admiral assigns to us. I provide trained crew to the MCDVs and the other port securities. That is what we do.

In respect of the suitability of the MCDVs, it is not our mandate. They are operated by MARLANT and MARPAC. The admiral's CMS staff decides which kit goes on board. On the topic of the operations, we have some input into the things that we need to do. However, we have no say as to which kit is installed. They will put the kit and tell us that we need to train to that and provide them with the necessary material.

I cannot speak to their suitability as seagoing vessels. With all due respect to this committee, these are the prerogatives of Admiral Davidson because he operates them. I would be outside of my field of competence.

Senator Forrestall: Could your colleague more directly respond? When you promote the Kingston and its sister ships, the primary role of the Kingston Class vessel is coastal surveillance, surveillance and patrol. This involves a wide variety of missions, from general naval exercises, all the way to the assistance lent in the Swiss Air disaster, which involved a number of reservists and full-time personnel searching the beaches. Atlantic Canada is filled with small harbours and ports. Interdiction of illicit materials and the landing of alien subjects is an ongoing problem. Incidentally, as our resources become more sophisticated and increased, so does the number of interdictions that we are able to make: the more illicit drugs we find; the more aliens we are able to return to their native lands. That is what I am asking about.

If it is not within your competence, we can ask somebody else. However, I would think, captain, that you would have a pretty good idea as to whether or not this is a good vessel for its purpose. I do not want to wait until the mid-life of the Kingston to begin to think about what we should do at the time of the mid-life, to enhance and increase and improve its efficiency and its dedicated roles and missions.

Capt. Tremblay: With respect to enhancing the Kingston Class as far as this organization is concerned, a lot was done when Admiral Buck implemented Class C in January 2002. The regular force paid for members of the ship's companies, except for those people who are in training. That was a great improvement, because they were much easier to man and retention was better. That was a step in the right direction.

I do not operate the MCDVs; I provide them with the crew. I hear from the ship's company when they come back. I know that they are pretty rough at sea. My son is a naval reservist. They have their challenges in rough seas. As to whether they suitable vessels or could do better, I would be speaking outside of my competence, senator.

Senator Forrestall: We will pursue that topic it in another area. With respect to training, do you do your own watchkeeping certification?

Capt. Tremblay: We train our Naval Reserve Officers on the West Coast. In the units, most of the training is conducted in Victoria at the Naval Officer Training Centre. We provide basic officer training using simulators and small vessels. They complete their training in the MCDVs. They also will do some training in the units — maintenance of skills and so on. The new Naval Part Task Trainer — the three consoles that you saw this morning in the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Quebec — has been added to every Naval Reserve unit in Canada. It took about two years to produce that for every unit.

We can carry on with maintenance of skills; we do our training mostly on the coast. People return to the units on the coast during the winter to use the bigger simulators, and to train at sea if the ships are available. They have the ability to continue training in the units themselves.

Senator Forrestall: Do you draw from Canada's very limited, but nevertheless existing, Merchant Fleet? Do you have watchkeeping men or men out of the engine rooms?

Capt. Tremblay: Not really sir. We have what we call ``component transfers'' — people coming from the regular force to do reserve, bridge watchkeeping tickets, engineers, technicians, and communicators. We also have a large transfer from the reserve force to the regular force in the same type of trade because we train at the same levels, the same standards as the regular force. We train a navigator and he can go on a regular Frigate. There is a significant number of transfers between the regular and reserve forces, but I am not aware of the draw from the Merchant Navy or the Coast Guard. That does not mean they do not exist. I have not talked to anyone that has those tickets.

Senator Forrestall: Where do these boats go? Can they go north; can they go south? Can they cross the Atlantic?

Capt. Tremblay: The MCDVs are limited to Coastal operations, with exceptions. On the approval of the Chief of Maritime Staff, they have been deployed to Europe a few times. They have also deployed to Hawaii at least once that I know of. They were deployed to the California Coast at least once or twice and they have gone north once.

Senator Forrestall: Did they go north from the West Coast?

Capt. Tremblay: They went from the East Coast.

Senator Forrestall: Did they go through the Northwest Passage?

Capt. Tremblay: They went quite far north, but they did not go through the Northwest Passage.

Senator Forrestall: Do you have any trouble with watchkeeping certification or with trained personnel? Can you train onboard? If I were an 18-year-old who took up seamanship, by the time I am 25, could I expect to have a fairly senior watchkeeping certificate?

Capt. Tremblay: Normally, you would have your tickets following a three-summer program — three summers and winters. You would spend three full summers and the winters in between at the units and you would have a Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate.

Senator Forrestall: How long did you say?

Capt. Tremblay: Normally, after three summers, people will get their watchkeeping certificate. Obviously, it is the ``bare bones'' watchkeeping certificate, but they can then go aboard ships. After some a consolidation time — we will give them a few months on the bridge, working maybe as a second-officer of the watch — he or she would be qualified to have a watch on the bridge.

Senator Forrestall: What would be a comparable Merchant ticket — 1, 2?

Capt. Tremblay: I have not looked into that. In the past when I had doubts about my career, I used to look at those comparisons. However, I have not looked at them in about 20 years.

Senator Forrestall: I understand. Thank you very much Captain. Good luck. I am very envious of the fact that you have got this magnificent structure here and not in Dartmouth. Thank you.

The Chairman: Captain, could we have a follow-up on the issue regarding the Coastal patrol and surveillance for all the Coastal Defence vessels? It is in the material that Senator Forrestall has and it is also on the Web site. Coastal patrol is listed as being the principal role of that vessel, but we have had testimony from Admiral King to the effect that it is not well suited for that task because it is beamy and slow.

We are looking at Coastal Defence issues now. While we are told it is terrific for training, it is not for coastal defence. We would like to have this clarified. I find it curious that the material the Navy puts up on their Web site seems to be in variance with the testimony that we have received. I recognize you do not feel qualified to address this issue, but perhaps you could arrange for us to receive something in writing subsequent to this meeting.

Capt. Tremblay: I will certainly do that. I will bring that question regarding the suitability of the MCDVs as coastal defence vessels to the Chief of Maritime Staff.

The Chairman: Thank you very much sir.

Senator Smith: I should like to mention that I was lucky to sit at the same table as Captain Tremblay. His enthusiasm for the job and for the mandate is noted and appreciated. I think it is great and I applaud you for that. Most of us are enthusiastic but you are very enthusiastic and I like that.

We spent some time in Halifax and part of that time was with the Coast Guard. They are kind of groping for a clearer role. What I am saying is a matter of public record, because what was said was all said in public, you know. They were moved from Transport to Fisheries and they are concerned that their budgets have suffered as result of this move and the lack of clarity about their mandate. This confusion arises from questions as to whether they should be armed or no, whether they can or cannot board boats, whether they can stop them or merely watch their activities. Much of this stems from a post-9/11 mentality and what is the rationale there?

I have another question relating to an article that I saw in the National Post on Monday, September 22. The headline read, ``Forces need intelligence czar.'' It raised the point that in some parts of the military, the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, and so forth.

In respect of these 12 ships that you have got going, do you ever interface with the Coast Guard? Are you on each other's radar screens? Is there any interplay, or are these totally watertight functions of the government? Do you have any reaction to this whole question of how efficient the whole world of Naval Intelligence is being shared by all branches of the government? I invite both of you to comment.

Capt. Tremblay: I will let Commander Kubeck address the second part of your question with respect to Naval Intelligence.

The Coast Guard is my neighbour right here in Quebec City. The formation Chief — the senior man in the Naval Reserve — is a Coast Guard.

I provide the people and they go onboard ships. I do not deal with the operations of those ships on a day-to-day basis. I had more involvement 10 years ago, but I spent four years in the Joint Staff in Ottawa and then I was transferred her three years ago.

I do not get involved into operations with the Coast Guard. The ships do get involved, but it is not my field of responsibility. I do not mean to be impolite, but I could only tell you what I read myself in the newspapers. I operate on a need-to-know basis and I have plenty to do with the Naval Reserve itself — the 4,000 people and 24 units. My only involvement in operations is to provide the crews.

Your question would be better directed to the coasts — to MARLANT and MARPAC — because we have little involvement with the Coast Guard here in Quebec. Last Saturday, The Transport Canada Emergency Search and Rescue Secretariat conducted an S & R exercise. Both the Coast Guard and the Naval Reserve were involved in that to the extent that they pooled resources. That is one example of the kind of interaction that we would have in my experience.

Senator Smith: Then there is a bit of interchange.

Capt. Tremblay: Oh there is. Sometimes we do get involved minor operations such as the one I just described. But they are not common.

Senator Smith: It is not really a working relationship?

Capt. Tremblay: No sir. With respect to intelligence, I will let Commander Kubeck address that question.

Cdr. Kubeck: Sir, this question is well above my pay grade. I am the project manager of transitioning some people from one MOC into another. At my level, I respond to an Admiral's request for a specific type of capability — for example, a search capability in Merchant Shipping Information and Research — and I find the people to transfer to those centres. I am sorry sir, but it is a little beyond my skills set.

Senator Smith: I know it is bit out of your area. We are trying to get a sense and a feel for what the Coast Guard's mandate is — frankly, they are trying to get one themselves. They keep emphasizing how they are frustrated — they do not board, they do not stop, they just kind of watch. We wonder about the watching when you are right beside them and the degree of interchange or by-play is minimal at best.

Capt. Tremblay: We know what we have to do. Our mandate is well defined.

Senator Smith: You have a clear mandate.

Capt. Tremblay: We have a clear mandate. In addition, about a year ago, the Admiral told me a precise list of our priorities. When you know what to do and when you have a priority list your job is much easier. Certainly, as with any large organization, we have challenges in manning the ships and in training, but that is normal. However, my path is clear.

Senator Smith: Well I appreciate that and I thank you both. We are trying to get a feel for it and I did not know they were right beside you. We are not beside them and it is hard for us to get a feel to what they are up to these days.

The Chairman: If I understood your testimony correctly, you are a personnel generator operation and that if we want an answer to the question, we should go to MARPAC, MARLANT, or to Admiral Buck and one of those three will help us with it.

Capt. Tremblay: That is exactly correct, sir. I did not intend any disrespect.

The Chairman: No, I understand.

Senator Atkins: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I assume you are in the business of recruitment.

Capt. Tremblay: Yes sir.

Senator Atkins: Do you work under an umbrella with all the military or do you have your separate operation? How do you do it?

Capt. Tremblay: We certainly do work under an umbrella. The 24 Naval Reserve Divisions are the face of the Navy across the land. So that we can attract people, we have a recruiting office in every Naval Reserve unit. The recruiting offices are open during the week and most Saturdays. We create a lot of publicity so people know where the office nearest to them is. We conduct the initial interviews at the office to see if the individuals have the necessary education and so forth.

We then send candidates to the Recruiting Centre to complete the process, which includes a medical and so on. Once they have signed on, they go to a unit for basic training, which includes some drill, naval history and so forth. We recruit all year, but our busiest period is between September and mid-May. Following basic training, they will go to the Naval Reserve Training Division in Borden, to start their basic military qualifications.

Senator Atkins: How do you get their attention in the community to draw people in?

Capt. Tremblay: We use many approaches. We visit the schools; we place publicity in the papers, at hockey rinks, on the sides of buses. We have posters and general campaigns. The promotion varies from place to place. We have teams across the land and we have found that what might work well in Victoria does not necessarily work well in Quebec City. Each unit has a recruiting officer year round. That officer takes the initiative as to how they will promote recruiting — within guidelines, of course.

Senator Atkins: Do you have an advertising and promotional budget?

Capt. Tremblay: Yes. We get some funds from the Chief of Maritime Staff and we devote some money to advertising.

Senator Atkins: Have you ever worked with say, Employment Canada to find particular trades or people who are unemployed?

Capt. Tremblay: I do not know but I could get back with the answer.

Senator Atkins: I just wonder whether that is an avenue for recruitment.

Capt. Tremblay: We do go into the schools, but I am not certain about Employment Canada. It is a good suggestion. I will take that back to my superiors.

Senator Atkins: Can you tell me a little about how you are approaching issues that you have listed in your brief under the heading of ``challenges'' — these include new mandates, recruiting and new training requirements, environmental, harassment, or ethics?

Capt. Tremblay: These would not be challenges in the regular force. They are challenges in the Reserve because reservists devote only a few hours every week or month to training. The new mandates have been positive; programs such as harassment training have decreased significantly the number of incidents that we have had. The new mandate also includes areas such as environmental training. People say such a program takes only two to four hours, but that is the equivalent of a full night that you cannot devote to standard training. For an individual in a Class A category — someone who comes in from school — there is not much time available. That is what I mean by ``challenges.''

Delivering the training is not a problem; we have the qualified people. The challenge comes from other pressures that detract from the amount of time that people have to put into their training.

Senator Atkins: What are the harassment issues?

Capt. Tremblay: It is the training on harassment issue. When you visited the school this morning, you probably saw groups of people were dressed as civilians. They were doing harassment investigator training.

As a result of this training, we have managed to cut our spending on harassment investigations by about 40 per cent in the past three years. We have fewer harassment incidents because we do more training and more awareness training, more sharp training.

Senator Atkins: Is it abusive?

Capt. Tremblay: No. It is not abusive training. There is not too much of it. The problem is that when everyone has two or three hours of environmental training or harassment training, these all add up to cut into the amount of time a Class A reservist has available. Obviously, we have to do it and we do. However, it is one more pressure one more pressure on the budget because we have to pay them for their extra time.

Senator Atkins: Does this have anything to do with the fact that we now have male and female recruits?

Capt. Tremblay: The Naval Reserve has long had a proportion of men and women. I have been with the Naval Reserve since 1983 and even back then we had a lot of women. We have the odd incident with recruits and so on — as occur everywhere else. I do not think it occurs more here.

Senator Atkins: You are saying that it is not a gender issue?

Capt. Tremblay: Oh no. It is not.

Senator Atkins: Why would a seaman transfer from a regular force to Reserve?

Capt. Tremblay: He might have completed his 20 years and he now has his pension. He will join the Naval Reserve then he will be off for 35 days a year. He will have his pension and a decent salary in the Naval Reserve.

Senator Atkins: Will he lose any benefits?

Capt. Tremblay: No. He can keep his pension. That is one scenario. Other might transfer because they have married and in the Naval Reserve are not required to move anywhere. Someone might want to pursue his education and in the Reserve he has the freedom to choose the contracts that he likes and to sail when he is available.

Senator Atkins: Does he draw his pension?

Capt. Tremblay: After 20 years, if he is pensionable, he will draw his pension.

Senator Atkins: That is double dipping. They can draw their pension and they can remain in service.

Capt. Tremblay: After 20 or 30 years. There are few transfers that fall into this category. Generally, the transfers would be younger people who choose the Naval Reserve because they want to go back to school and continue their education. They can have a marketable trade in the Naval Reserve; if he is a BOSA, NAVCOM or NCIR, he is qualified.

Senator Atkins: That is the reason why the reserve forces are under contract.

Capt. Tremblay: It is a contract and they are all volunteers.

Lieutenant-Commander Mireille Moutillet, Senior Staff Officer, Policy, Department of National Defence: I would like to add some information on the pension for the regular force. They must take a 30-day break. If they are employed full time, the law requires them to take a 30-day break every fiscal year. They can get their pension and they will get the Reserve pay, but they must take that break. The employer — in this case, the Naval Reserve — has the right to decide whether they want to hire an ex-regular force, knowing that he's going to take a 30 days break.

Senator Atkins: Thank you. I have one final question.

Before they sign up, can recruits indicate their areas of interest and the stream in which they would like to be trained? What per centage of them would get their preference?

Capt. Tremblay: We will show them all the trades or areas that are available. Then we will tell them if there are specific areas in which we are looking for recruits. However, we do not force anyone into a specific area.

I do not have any statistics showing what per centage of recruits get their preference. I can only respond to that question with anecdote. I have not heard many young people saying that they were pressed into the Naval Reserve because they do not have to join. Most of the time people do not know what they want to do. They do not know what each job entails. Certainly they understand what a cook or a diver does, but in respect of areas such as Naval Control, Naval Combat Operator or Communicators, it is fuzzy.

If they sign up for a specific area to later find that they do not like it, they can transfer. There is a lot of flexibility and movement in the system.

Senator Forrestall: You have kind of provided us with some answers to some of the problems we have ran across with respect with retainment and recruits.

We have heard one common complaint that came from the women. They said it is very difficult to get work clothing that fit. Have you done anything about this?

Apparently it was a couple of years ago a major problem. I could not understand the problem until one of the ladies demonstrated how the clothing did fit — it fit very unflatteringly. Has it been corrected?

Capt. Tremblay: I was not aware of that sir. I was not aware there was a problem with the combat clothing that would not fit. But I could certainly provide an answer.

Senator Forrestall: Is anybody among your group here today, aware of that problem?

Cdr. Kubeck: As a commanding officer of a unit in Toronto a few years ago, I was aware of a supply issue — a bulk of materials that came in the Naval combats came at once and they were the standard sizes. Therefore, people like me — 5 foot 2 inches — or people who were more than six feet tall had trouble with the clothing. I can certainly attest that I am sure that it is fine. Everybody has the right sizes of everything at this point. If it fits me, it fits everyone else in my units. My tallest guy is 6 foot 6 and it is fitting him as well, sir.

Senator Forrestall: Well I did not hear the same complaint from the men, just from the ladies. Thank you.

The Chairman: I have a couple questions, if I may, Captain.

You described the role regarding Port Security and Mine Clearance. You are generating people who are skilled at Port Security and at clearing mines. But the Reserve does not in fact, under your command, clear mines or carry-on port security. Under what command are those tasks carried out?

Capt. Tremblay: The Maritime Operation group and so on.

The Chairman: Then I am in the same boat as Senator Smith. Is it difficult to transfer from the Regulars to the Reserves? Are there delays; does it take time?

Capt. Tremblay: From the Regular to the Reserve?

The Chairman: Right.

Capt. Tremblay: Sir, I will ask Captain Edmonds if you do not mind, because he is in charge of this phase.

The Chairman: I want to know whether Borden is your nemesis or whether it works well for you, or whether anything even goes to Borden in your case?

Capt. Edmonds: Certainly the support from Borden for the most part, has been very good. There have been delays on the medical side, if there is a medical question either for recruiting or transfers. It is my understanding that that is a staff issue there — they simply do not have the resources to get the files through as quickly as we would like, if we are waiting.

The Chairman: How long do you wait, sir?

Capt. Edmonds: It depends on the nature of the difficulty of the individual, just what the medical issue may be and if it requires subsequent review. Ordinarily we would like to get a file through in about three weeks, but it can in fact take two to three months. It depends on the complexity of the case.

The Chairman: Then, generally speaking, this is not high on your list of problems?

Capt. Edmonds: It is one of those challenges that we have to monitor on a continual basis. We have a good working relationship with Borden and we have good contacts there. We spend a lot of time on the phone and in conferences together, to work out these issues on an on-going basis.

The Chairman: Could you tell the committee which way it is trending in terms of how long it takes to process things through Borden — longer or shorter?

Capt. Edmonds: In terms of an ideal file, it has certainly improved compared with two to three years ago. However, it still takes more time than it probably should. We are told that it is a resource issue.

The Chairman: My final question is what are the officer and trade shortages in the Reserves, and how severe are they?

Capt. Edmonds: In terms of our non-commissioned members, the main challenge at the moment is marine engineers.

The Chairman: What per centage are you short of them? Can you qualify what the main challenge is? Are you missing 20 per cent of what you would have on your table of organization? Is it 80 per cent? Could you give us a sense of how much it is?

Capt. Edmonds: I do not have the specific figures at the moment, but I would say it is in the order of about one third. Part of our problem is that when we introduced a new class of ships in 1995, we had a large cadre of people that were qualified on the older ships. Because the newer ships are so much more complex and require so much time to train on, we still have a large group of people who do not have time to undertake the new training.

The Chairman: So, would you translate what 33 per cent is in actual people? I would like a number.

Capt. Tremblay: I might think that I have a certain number of people on the books. However, because we are reservists, even if they are in the establishment, if they are not available they will not show up.

We are managing at the moment. There is the challenge of a shortage of marine engineers, however we have enough to staff all the positions.

This is not like in the Navy where they have specific numbers to man their ships and they have people both onshore and onboard. They have a clear ratio. They might note that they need 100 people to fill the sea-to-shore ratio and they have only 80. They know they have a shortage of 20 per cent.

It is not like that in the Naval Reserve, sir. In the Naval Reserve, the people will show up if they want to. You might have a specific number with the qualifications on paper, but they are not available. We might call them and they say they cannot come because something just came up or they have a job.

Therefore, under the direction of the Admiral, we re-did the establishment of the Naval Reserve. That is a complex task. We have to look at the number of missions and add up all of the people — the men on the MCDVs, the Port Security units, the Naval Control of Ships units, and the people in the headquarters and on both coasts. Then you can say, for example, ``I need 1,000 people.'' In the regular force that is easy. You calculate your sea-to-shore ratio and figure out how many people you need.

However, in the Naval Reserve, we had to pool all the members of the Naval Reserve and question them on their future. We needed to know what they intend to do, how long they intend to stay, why would they quit, at what time would they quit and so forth. We gathered all those answers because at the time to help us determine how many numbers were available to man 1,000 positions. People would say we need a reserve of 15,000; others would suggest a ratio of, say, 8 to 1, or 5 to 1, or 4 to 1.

However, with all the information we gathered in the fall of 2000, we have a better sense. For example, we know that to produce a leading seaman at that rank, we need to recruit about four people; to bring a person up to the next rank, we probably need about six waiting in line. That is how we arrived at the Naval Reserve establishment of about 5,100 positions.

That survey of the whole of the Naval Reserve in the fall of 2000 was a model survey. We learned of the reservists' intentions. We work with speculation. Our current number is about 3,900. I can generate about 2,900 positions so there is a reserve of about 1,000. I can generate enough people. It is difficult. It is manageable, but we do not have many human resources left with that.

That survey helped us determine where the problems were. We needed more modular training; we needed more leadership training. So we did that. Amazingly enough, our retention has improved and we need to recruit fewer people. Our numbers are increasing slowly. Have I answered your question, sir?

The Chairman: No sir. I am sitting here facing two captains, I ask one what is that deficiency, and the answer was 30 per cent. I then asked what number that per centage translates into. I am confused.

Capt. Edmonds: That figure of 30 per cent would translate into approximately 100.

The Chairman: That is in the marine engineers trades?

Capt. Edmonds: In the MESO trades, yes.

The Chairman: Thank you. Can you tell me about the officers?

Capt. Edmonds: The officer trades at the moment are in good shape.

The Chairman: OK. Thank you very much. I would like to thank all of you for coming. It is been instructive and helpful in giving us a better understanding or the Naval Reserves.

As you can see, we are on a steep learning curve and you have assisted us greatly in getting a better understanding of the relationship that the Reserves have to the rest of the Navy. We appreciate the time and preparation that went into making this meeting very productive for us.

Before closing, I would like ask you to convey to the men and women who work for you that, as Parliamentarians, we are proud of the work you are doing. We appreciate it and the people of Canada value and respect what you are doing to provide for our collective security. I would be remiss if I did not say that to you publicly.

Thank you very much for coming. We look forward to coming back for a further visit here.

The committee adjourned.