Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 18 - Evidence, March 9, 2005 - Afternoon meeting


REGINA, Wednesday, March 9, 2005

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 3:00 p.m. to examine and report on the national security policy for Canada.

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the chair.

[English]

The Chairman: Welcome ladies and gentlemen. I call the meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence to order.

On behalf of the committee I wish to extend our thoughts and condolences to the families of the victims who were members of the RCMP, and to the larger RCMP community. Our thoughts are with them in this difficult time.

Before we commence hearing testimony I wish to introduce the members of the committee. On my immediate right is the distinguished senator from Nova Scotia, Senator Michael Forrestall, who has served the constituents of Dartmouth for 37 years, first as their member in the House of Commons and then as their senator. While in the House of Commons Senator Forrestall was the official opposition defence critic from 1966 to 1976. He is also a member of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

Beside him is Senator Jim Munson from Ontario. Senator Munson was a trusted journalist and former director of communications for Prime Minister Chrétien before being called to the Senate. Senator Munson has been twice nominated for a Gemini award in recognition of excellence in journalism.

Beside him is Senator Michael Meighen, a lawyer by profession and a member of the Bar Societies of both Ontario and Quebec. He is Chancellor of the University of King's College and past-chair of the Stratford Festival. He has honorary doctorates in civil law from Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick. Currently he is Chair of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and he is a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.

On my left is Senator Norman Atkins from Ontario, who came to the Senate with 27 years of experience in the field of communications. Senator Atkins served as a senior adviser to former federal Conservative leader Robert Stanfield, Premier William Davis of Ontario and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He is also a member of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

Our committee is the first Senate committee mandated to examine security and defence. When the Senate asked our committee to examine the need for a national security policy we began our review in 2002 with three reports: Canadian Security and Military Preparedness, in February; The Defence of North America: A Canadian Responsibility, in September; and An Update on Canada's Military Crisis, A Review from the Bottom Up, in November.

In 2003 the committee published two reports: The Myth of Security at Canada's Airports, in January; and Canada's Coastline: The Longest Under-Defended Borders in the World, in October.

In 2004 we tabled two more reports: National Emergencies: Canada's Fragile Front Lines, in March; and, recently, The Canadian Security Guide Book, 2005 Edition.

This committee is reviewing Canadian defence policy. During the next few months we will hold hearings in every province and engage with Canadians to determine their national interest and what they see as Canada's principal threats and how they would like their government to respond to those threats.

The committee will attempt to generate debate on national security in Canada and to forge a consensus on the need and type of military Canadians want.

We have before us today Colonel Alain Boyer, Wing Commander of 15 Wing Moose Jaw. Colonel Boyer joined the Canadian Forces in 1978 and began his career flying Sea King helicopters at CFB Shearwater in Nova Scotia. An experienced CF-18 pilot, he has completed three operational tours in Bagotville. He has commanded 424 Squadron, Task Force Aviano, and was the senior Canadian representative to the Balkans CAOC in Vicenza, Italy.

In August of 2002, Colonel Boyer was posted to NORAD headquarters at Colorado Springs as Chief of Readiness Division. He assumed command of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in May of 2003. He is a graduate of Canadian Forces Staff College in Toronto.

Accompanying Colonel Boyer is Mr. Michael (Mick) LeBoldus, Director of the NATO Flying Training in Canada program. He is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan. He enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1972 and received his wings in 1978. He retired from the Canadian Forces in 1994 with the rank of major, having completed 23 years of military service. In December, 1998 he was hired as a pilot training manager for NATO Flying Training in Canada at Moose Jaw.

Mr. LeBoldus is also the maintenance test pilot for Bombardier Aerospace and flies both the T6 and Hawk aircraft on a regular basis.

Gentlemen, we understand you each have a short statement to make. Colonel, you have the floor.

Colonel Alain Boyer, Commander 15 Wing Moose Jaw, National Defence: Honourable Senators, it is a privilege to be able to speak to you today as Commander of 15 Wing and to provide you with some insight into 15 Wing's role as part of the air force team.

Located just south of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, 15 Wing is the site of the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program and is also home to the Canadian Forces Snowbirds air demonstration team. The Wing enjoys close ties to Moose Jaw and frequently supports the local community through student course projects, the annual air show, and Wing tours, among other activities. Our ability to support army and naval reserve units in Saskatchewan is limited by the reduction in size of 15 Wing and the increased use of contractors. Support to those military units is provided by 17 Wing Winnipeg.

The mission of 15 Wing is twofold: to train future military pilots and to support the operations of the Snowbirds. In order to accomplish our mission we rely on a number of essential resources, including funding, aircraft, infrastructure and personnel. At present 15 Wing's annual operating budget is approximately $10 million, roughly one-third of which is allocated to the Snowbirds.

We operate three fleets of aircraft at 15 Wing. A fleet of Harvard II turboprop aircraft is used for basic flying training. Advanced jet training is conducted using a fleet of Hawk jets. The third fleet consists of the familiar Snowbirds Tutor jets.

The physical layout of the base has been evolving since the inception of the NFTC program in 2000. In order to modernize 15 Wing and make it a truly world-class training facility a new state-of-the-art building has been erected and older infrastructure has been modernized or torn down. This has assisted in reducing the footprint of the base and has made it more efficient overall. Work continues in this respect, with more projects being planned for the near future.

The most important of 15 Wing's resources are its personnel. We have an exceptional, and unique, team of men and women, both military and civilian, who are highly motivated, dedicated and skilled in what they do. The team is unique in that, of the approximately 800 personnel at the Wing, roughly half are civilian employees of Bombardier and its subcontractors. That dynamic is an inherent element of NFTC and one that has proven to be an effective way of doing business. There is also a small air reservist contingent of 30 personnel. Unfortunately, however, the reduction of military personnel has left 15 Wing with limited flexibility to handle other tasks and thus no residual capabilities.

Now that I have spoken about 15 Wing's mission and resources, let me tell you about the two primary entities at 15 Wing: the NFTC program and the Snowbirds.

The NATO Flying Training in Canada program is an international military pilot training program that has quickly earned a reputation as the world benchmark in that field. NFTC is the result of a team effort and joint partnership between the Government of Canada and Bombardier Aerospace. Through a 20-year contractual agreement, these partners train pilots for the armed forces of the various participating nations.

Canada, through the Canadian Forces, is responsible for the development and management of the training syllabus and standards, the provision of qualified military flying instructors and air traffic control services, and for the overall quality assurance of the NFTC program.

Canadian military students are trained under the NFTC program, but pilots from Denmark, Italy, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates are also presently being trained under the NFTC. Instructors from all those nations, as well as from Germany, France, Sweden, Finland and the United States, are employed at 15 Wing.

We currently have approximately 135 students in training, 25 of whom are in Cold Lake, Alberta, for fighter pilot training. Of the 135, 90 are Canadian students; the other nations have committed different numbers of students at different stages of training and they account for the other 45.

I would like to mention NFTC's potential for growth. NFTC was designed with expansion in mind and, although it already enjoys impressive international participation, other nations have been exploring their options and examining the program firsthand.

I will speak briefly of the Snowbirds and their operations. The Snowbirds squadron is comprised of approximately 80 personnel and 20 Tutor jets. Of these, 22 men and women and 11 Tutor jets make up the show team which travels across North America for six months each year as ambassadors for Canada and the Canadian Forces. They perform their nine-plane show, on average, 60 times per year at over 40 locations in Canada and the U.S.

I never cease to be completely impressed by the skill, professionalism and efficiency with which the team deploys every spring, and I am humbled by the personal sacrifice these men and women repeatedly make in order to do their job. Canadians have every reason to be proud of their Snowbirds, and I am proud to have them as members of 15 Wing.

I have been asked to highlight any challenges I face at 15 Wing. In common with the commanders of other Department of National Defence (DND) establishments I face a number of challenges, including sustaining old infrastructure and relying on reserve personnel to fill the gaps left by a shortage of regular force members. However, the greatest challenge I face every day at 15 Wing is the execution of the NFTC mission.

The NFTC contract is a very complex instrument that carries with it a rigidity that would not be present if the operation were solely military. It is only the harmonious relationship we enjoy with Bombardier management and the representatives of the participating nations that allows us to overcome this challenge and make NFTC the success that it is.

Honourable Senators, I thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I hope I have provided you with some useful insight about 15 Wing.

The Chairman: Mr. LeBoldus, you have the floor.

Mr. Mick LeBoldus, Chief Representative, NATO Flight Training Centre: Honourable senators, good afternoon. I am afraid that, although Colonel Boyer and I worked on this together, some of my comments may be repetitious and for that I apologize.

The NATO Flying Training in Canada is a Government of Canada program designed to provide undergraduate and graduate pilot training to Canadian and selected foreign air forces. The commercial concept is to gather a critical mass of students so as to keep the training cost per pilot affordable. The intent is to allow the best commercial practices while maintaining core military requirements.

The NFTC program has been established through the collaboration of the Government of Canada and Bombardier. The overall responsibility for the NFTC program rests with the Government of Canada. Bombardier is the prime contractor which directly employs 253 personnel in Moose Jaw and Cold Lake. To date, Bombardier has spent over $89 million on operating expenditures involving over 256 different suppliers and contractors.

Bombardier leads an industry team that provides the following services: program aircraft and maintenance, including 26 Harvard aircraft and 20 Hawk aircraft; five state-of-the-art courseware and flight training devices (FTD), or simulators; ground school academic and FTD instruction, or flight simulator instruction, which is done to Department of National Defence standards; site infrastructure and maintenance; flight planning and meteorological services; and food services.

Subcontractors are made up of 120 employees and have spent approximately $12 million in operating expenditures. The subcontractors are listed as follows: BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, CAE, Raytheon Aircraft Company, Pratt and Whitney Canada, Serco, ATCO Frontec, and Aramark.

In 1999 a 20-year contract between the Government of Canada and Bombardier was established. Since flight operations began on June 12, 2000, the Harvard fleet has accumulated over 61,600 hours of flight time, the Hawk fleet has completed over 30,500 flying hours and our FTDs have completed over 45,000 hours of flying simulation.

NFTC is the first fully digital pilot training program of its kind in the world; it promises a highly qualified jet fighter pilot optimally prepared to become combat-ready on any latest generation fighter aircraft in minimum time.

The NFTC program provides access to over 700,000 square kilometres of unrestricted military airspace. NFTC equipment, infrastructure and military flying areas at 15 Wing Moose Jaw and 4 Wing Cold Lake are dedicated to the exclusive use of NFTC participants, seeking international participants to join this new and exciting program. Bombardier takes great pride in all the partnerships that have developed and is truly thankful to be part of these operations and their communities.

Honourable senators, I appreciate that I was asked to speak to you today; I hope I was able to offer you some valuable information. Thank you.

The Chairman: Thank you, sir.

Senator Munson: Good afternoon, gentlemen, welcome to our hearing.

Colonel, you talked about facing a number of common challenges such as sustaining old infrastructure and relying on reserve personnel to fill the gaps. Could you be more specific about what those gaps are and how difficult they are to fill?

Col. Boyer: In terms of the personnel aspect, we have what we call Class B reservists, which is full time and not really the aim of the reservist, which is supposed to be a part-time job. They are mainly employed with the Snowbirds. There are about seven or eight full-time and four or five part-time reservists with the Snowbirds, due to lack of regular forces personnel.

Regarding infrastructure we are somewhat fortunate at 15 Wing; we have a mixture of brand-new buildings and hangars and other buildings that are more than 50 or 60 years old. There is quite a bit of maintenance needed on the older infrastructure, but funding is insufficient to do everything that is required; so the infrastructure slowly keeps deteriorating.

Senator Munson: Well, you do not need to be shy. Everyone seems to be short of money.

There was a lot of publicity regarding funding from the budget; do you think anything will trickle down to your base?

Col. Boyer: The budget has only just passed; I do not know if anything will come down to my level. I assume that in due time the money will be divided and I will see something.

Senator Munson: But you would like to have more money?

Col. Boyer: Definitely. We need a little more money for infrastructure support.

Senator Munson: What would you do with the money?

Col. Boyer: I would use it to fix older buildings and perhaps some new construction as well would be necessary.

Senator Munson: You spoke of other nations exploring their options and examining this program, which is world- class to my understanding. Which nations are they?

Col. Boyer: During the last six months representatives from Chile and Austria have visited 15 Wing. Before that Belgium and France visited. Currently Chile and Austria are prospective participants.

Senator Munson: If they came, would you have the capacity to deal with these nations?

Col. Boyer: Yes. The program was designed for growth; the airfield can accommodate more student participants. We did buy one or two extra aircraft with a view to capturing more business in the future. So the program can rapidly accommodate a limited number of students from other nations.

Senator Munson: On the contracting business, you spoke of that being one of your challenges. What limitations has this contract placed on your operational capacity?

Col. Boyer: The instrument is a 20-year contract and, as you can imagine, it is fairly voluminous.

Let me give you an example of the kind of difficulties we face. Say the contract specifies that Bombardier will support 107 computers, but through growth of the program, or for some other reason, I need 120, well, to make that change would necessitate an amendment to this contract, this instrument that is worth billons of dollars. That would generate a lot of paperwork and would have to be done through the contractual entity of the Government of Canada, which is PWGSC.

Some changes are very minor, such as the number-of-computers example I just gave you, but some are much larger in scope. That is an example of the lack of flexibility in the contract.

Senator Munson: Is there a separate contract dealing with infrastructure, to support the base?

Col. Boyer: No. Infrastructure support is part of Bombardier's responsibility.

Senator Munson: Air traffic control, too?

Col. Boyer: No, air traffic control is military. It is a little complex. There are two elements to the infrastructure at 15 Wing, one of which is NATO Flying Training in Canada, which is part of the Bombardier contract. However, all of the infrastructure related to the Snowbirds, and the work that is being done to those buildings, is the responsibility of the Department of National Defence.

Senator Munson: I have just two other questions on this round. Last week we heard that officers graduating from RMC in May will have to wait for up to two years before commencing training in Moose Jaw. Is that true? If so, why the delay?

Col. Boyer: I am not aware of that kind of delay. Right now we have students who graduated last May and are already in training. I am surprised to hear that, because the backlog on pilot training through the NFTC program in Moose Jaw is very limited; three to six months I would say is the average.

Senator Munson: What makes this program so much better than other programs in the world?

Col. Boyer: There are a few reasons. The first is that Canada has an international background in pilot training reaching back to World War II with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan so that we have the know-how to train pilots from a military perspective.

We have two brand-new, state-of-the-art aircraft, the Harvard II and the Hawk aircraft. They are supported by state-of-the-art simulators on the ground floor and by outstanding courseware that is not comparable to anything else available. We have widely available air space. For these reasons we are the world benchmark.

Senator Meighen: Mr. LeBoldus, when foreign governments send their students to Moose Jaw for training, does Canada receive a discount or make a profit? In other words, what incentive is there, and for whom, to market to other nations?

Mr. LeBoldus: We are in the business of making a profit.

In 1994 I was stationed in Moose Jaw; in July I left the air force and went overseas as an instructor pilot to two different countries. I think it is fair to say that at that time every nation was having difficulty training its own fighter pilots because it was so expensive.

When I was instructing on the CF-18 in Cold Lake, we put through 52 students a year. It is now down to about 12 to 16 students a year who pass through the system in the Canadian Forces.

The initiative was to get together with the Government of Canada, in this case the Department of National Defence. I believe it is fair to say that the risk was for the most part taken by industry, which put the package together to provide the service.

We provide sorties to the Canadian Forces. Currently, with 18 Hawk aircraft and 24 of our 26 Harvard aircraft, we fly, each day, as many sorties as we did in the heyday of the Tutor aircraft, which was 120 aircraft on the ramp, when I was a student pilot. The efficiency of this program is part of what makes it attractive.

I have instructed with the United States Navy, I have instructed with the United Arab Emirates and I have lived and flown with the Royal Air Force. I am very familiar with other ways of doing business. Without a doubt, what makes this program attractive, as Colonel Boyer said, is the state-of-the-art aircraft, infrastructure, courseware and simulators. It is the best that I have ever seen and it is very efficient.

Senator Meighen: What I want to know is who benefits, and in what way, from having a greater number of foreign students coming to Moose Jaw to take part in this program?

Mr. LeBoldus: I think both industry and the Department of National Defence benefit from this. In my opinion it keeps the ``pointy end'' within Canada to provide this training. Obviously, industry is very much interested in providing this training to the world community; we make money on our ability to provide this service.

Senator Meighen: That is what I want to find out. It is Bombardier that makes the money. The more foreign students, the more money Bombardier makes; is that correct?

Col. Boyer: If I may interject, the program is set up in such a way that Bombardier has no relationship with any other nation. The relationship is between the participating nations and DND. There is a reduction in cost that accrues to DND because of foreign participation; but part of that profit also increases the bottom line of Bombardier. The exact numbers I am not aware of, but there is a benefit accrued to both sides.

Senator Meighen: That is what I wanted to know. Did I understand you to say that we are at the optimum number of Canadian pilots right now, and that there is room only for non-Canadian pilots to come and take the course? Or is there room for both? If there is, what is the optimum total number?

Col. Boyer: The contract provides for a certain number of Canadian and a certain number of international students, and there is room for more of each to join.

Senator Meighen: Right now there are 90 Canadian and 45 international students?

Col. Boyer: That is right, at this time.

Senator Meighen: What is the ideal total number?

Col. Boyer: I really could not say.

Senator Meighen: How many more could you accommodate?

Col. Boyer: In the Phase II, which is the turboprop segment, the maximum is, I believe, 131 Canadian students plus the international students. In Phases III and IV there are other numbers because different aircraft are involved.

Is there an optimum? We would like to reach the maximum. Right now there is capacity to handle more Canadian students.

Senator Meighen: I am curious; how can you preset the number of Canadian students and the number of foreign students? Surely the number of Canadian pilots is determined by the needs of the air force and the resources of the Government of Canada.

Col. Boyer: That is correct.

Senator Meighen: You have a certain capacity and what is left over is available for non-Canadian pilots; is that right?

Col. Boyer: Yes, that is correct.

Senator Meighen: What about infrastructure in terms of housing? Do you have all the students and others living on base?

Col. Boyer: We have a brand-new building for housing the students; it is five years old and is very nice. They have two rooms and their own bathroom; it is top-of-the-line accommodation for a single man or women. There are also some married quarters on the Wing that are available to rent.

Senator Meighen: Is there excess capacity there, if you build up the program?

Col. Boyer: Yes, there is excess capacity there as well.

Senator Meighen: In your remarks, Colonel, you spoke of the total annual operating costs being $10 million, with about a third of that going to the Snowbirds. One third of $10 million would be about $3.3 million; so that, I would assume, would be the cost of the Snowbird operation?

Col. Boyer: That is the amount of budget that I receive for the Snowbirds; it is not the total Canadian Forces amount. This is what I see at the tactical level. $3.5 million is the exact amount that I receive for the Snowbirds at the Wing.

Senator Meighen: Do you participate in discussions that might take place regarding such things as the type of aircraft the Snowbirds fly?

Col. Boyer: Not really. My responsibility is for the missions. I am involved in preparing the Snowbirds for their season and supporting them along the way during the season. Any discussion regarding replacement aircraft or things of that nature occur in Ottawa.

Senator Meighen: Has the investigation into the very unfortunate accident been completed?

Col. Boyer: No, it has not been completed. It is still with the Director of Flight Safety.

Senator Meighen: Do you have any idea when the results of the investigation are expected to be made public?

Col. Boyer: One year is generally the time line for finalization.

Senator Meighen: Can you give me some idea of how much it costs to train a pilot at your facility?

Col. Boyer: Including all the phases from turboprop to the fighter lead-in training is about $2.5 million.

Senator Meighen: For those who complete the CF-18 training, is the retention rate high or low?

Col. Boyer: That I am not aware of.

Senator Meighen: What is the relationship between you and the City of Moose Jaw? There must be a fairly considerable economic impact on the City of Moose Jaw by your operations.

Col. Boyer: We are not part of the City of Moose Jaw per se; we are part of the rural municipality structure in Saskatchewan. However, most of my employees and most of Bombardier's employees live in Moose Jaw. So obviously, the economic benefit to the City of Moose Jaw is quite large.

Senator Atkins: I want to return to a question that Senator Meighen raised. Does the revenue from the training of foreign pilots belong to the Department of National Defence or does your operation benefit from that?

Col. Boyer: I think that question should be posed to a representative of the Department of National Defence in Ottawa because I do not see the transition of monies from other nations. That is outside the area of my knowledge so I cannot answer the question.

Senator Atkins: We had a long discussion with commanders from Cold Lake about the number of hours that pilots were able to fly their aircraft. The clear message from them was that they do not get the required number of hours. Are you able to provide the necessary number of hours for your pilots?

Col. Boyer: Ours is a school situation; therefore, so long as there are students there are hours to be flown. We do not have the same dilemma as an operational unit would. For us it is not a problem.

Senator Atkins: Regardless of your budget, you are not limited in implementing your program.

Col. Boyer: That is correct.

Senator Atkins: Do you have difficulty keeping pilots?

Col. Boyer: In Moose Jaw we have, I believe, normal rates of attrition. I lose one or two per year, who choose civilian life or seek other employment; but it is nothing out of the ordinary from my perspective.

Senator Atkins: At what stage do you lose them?

Col. Boyer: Usually it is those who have at least 20 years of service and have a small pension. They take employment in the airline industry or, as Mick has done, go overseas and become instructors for another nation.

Senator Atkins: Does Bombardier take some of your pilots?

Col. Boyer: They do take some of my pilots, yes, but we do benefit from that. For instance, if a young man with 20 years of service, who has served well, then works for Bombardier as a courseware instructor downstairs, we keep all his knowledge in house. It works out very well for us.

Senator Atkins: How many female pilots do you have?

Col. Boyer: Currently we have none on staff. However, I would say we have eight to ten female students right now, in all phases.

Senator Atkins: Are any of them flying with the Snowbirds?

Col. Boyer: There are no females at this time with the Snowbirds.

Senator Atkins: Has there ever been?

Col. Boyer: Yes, there was Major Carmichael. She is in Bagotville now, I believe.

Senator Atkins: Do you have female instructors in your program?

Mr. LeBoldus: We do not. We have a staff of 28, all ex-military instructor pilots, as Colonel Boyer has touched on. We are into a situation now where we receive pilots who have left the military but want to stay in the Moose Jaw area. They move from upstairs with Department of National Defence, Canadian Forces, and come to work for us the next day. It is an excellent relationship and gives the program a lot of credibility. All of the ground school and simulator classes are taught by Bombardier staff. A couple of us also fly the aircraft. To this time, however, no females have applied for a job.

Senator Atkins: Canadians are very proud of the Snowbird program, but I think a number of Canadians wonder how long the program can continue with the aircraft you have. How old are those aircraft and what is the general lifespan of the aircraft the Snowbirds are flying at the moment?

Col. Boyer: The Tutor aircraft are generally about 40 years old. They are expected to be in service at least to 2010; consideration will be given to extending that to 2016. They are a fine machine.

We have a lot of Tutor jets in storage which we can reactivate for the Snowbirds as time expires for some of the active aircraft.

Senator Atkins: That leads to the question of maintenance. Does the air force have a contract with Bombardier for the maintenance of these aircraft?

Col. Boyer: No. The Tutor aircraft are supported throughout by military technicians.

Senator Atkins: Do you have any problem in keeping the technical and mechanical ground crew personnel in the air force? Are you experiencing difficulty in acquiring replacements?

Col. Boyer: It is a small unit; we have approximately 45 to 50 technicians at the squadron. Most of those technicians have been in Moose Jaw a long time; they like the city and would prefer to stay there, and the air force is able to keep them there. Obviously, there are some who are posted out. Because we are a very small fleet we do not receive brand- new technicians from the school in Borden but rather technicians who are more qualified for our particular situation. We do not train technicians ab initio; they are journeymen when they join the Snowbirds.

Senator Atkins: How far into the contract with Bombardier is the government?

Mr. LeBoldus: This is a 20-year program and we are five years into it. It commenced in 1999.

Senator Atkins: Anyone in your business would certainly have an advantage in maintaining any contract with DND, would you not? What is your competition?

Mr. LeBoldus: With respect to NATO Flying Training, I would say our major competition in North America is with the United States Air Force in Wichita Falls, Texas, where they have been conducting a similar type of training activity for probably the last 25 years.

There are quite a few differences between the two locations, the air space definitely being a major one. The aircraft are quite a bit different, as well; a much older generation of aircraft is being used by the United States Air Force.

Senator Atkins: Who would vet the foreign pilots who come for training? Could you explain the process to us?

Col. Boyer: How they are selected?

Senator Atkins: Yes.

Col. Boyer: All the contractual business takes place in Ottawa, although we do have close links with D Air CFG when we negotiate these types of contracts. The nations that do join the program have to meet the international trade restrictions associated with those aircraft. Because of some limitation on ITARs associated with the aircraft, not all nations are allowed to join.

That is, as far as I can tell, the vetting that is being done.

Senator Munson: I am curious about this screening. For example, has it changed since 9/11? Does a CSIS officer go to these countries to check the families or the backgrounds of these students?

Col. Boyer: I am not aware of any action being done for screening.

Senator Munson: Has anything changed since 9/11 in the screening of these foreign students, in terms of both security at the base and making sure you have a student who is clean, so to speak?

Col. Boyer: I do not know the process, or if there is any change between what we did before 9/11 and what we do now.

Senator Atkins: Have we ever trained any that turned out to be enemy pilots?

Col. Boyer: I do not believe so. I am not aware of any.

Mr. LeBoldus: As far as screening activities go, we have a joint marketing office in Ottawa and, as required, people from both the Department of National Defence and Bombardier travel to these nations to have a look at the current training they are receiving in order to determine how we will need to modify our training package here in NFTC.

As an example, the U.A.E. government started a program in December of last year, as a result of which we modified our program on T6 aircraft so that it is unique to the U.A.E. nationals, in order to get them ready for the more advanced flying on the Hawk aircraft. This happens as part of the process. It happened with Hungary and it has happened with other nations that have also signed onto the program.

It is a form of screening to examine where they are in their training package, because they can enter at any point in the program, either Phase II on a T6, or directly onto the Hawk, or directly on the Hawk in Cold Lake. Accordingly, depending on where they wish to enter the program, we have to perform an evaluation to ensure that they are ready to do so.

Senator Atkins: Is there a waiting list for pilots that wish to be in the Snowbird program?

Col. Boyer: Every fall we have a competition for the upcoming year of the Snowbirds and we always have lots of applicants. We tend to try out two applicants for every one we select. That is to say, if there are three positions open for the upcoming year we select six to try out and three are selected.

There is no lack of young Canadians wishing to be Snowbird pilots.

Senator Atkins: On an annual basis what is the number of flying hours for the Snowbirds?

Col. Boyer: It is approximately 3,600 hours for the team, in total.

Senator Atkins: For the team; does that mean individual pilots?

Col. Boyer: Yes. It is 3,600 in total. So it is separated by the individual pilots.

Senator Atkins: There are two groups of nine; is that the way it breaks down?

Col. Boyer: There are only nine show pilots and two commentators, who are pilots who travel with the team and do the public relations work and the commentary.

Senator Atkins: That is a lot of hours.

Col. Boyer: It is not that many hours. We have to transit all across North America. It encompasses a lot of hours when you perform at an air show in Halifax and then at one in Vancouver. It takes quite a bit of transit time to do the job.

Senator Atkins: Do you consider being a flying instructor a high-risk occupation?

Col. Boyer: It is not a high-risk occupation. It is a very rewarding occupation, because you teach someone to become a pilot. When you see people graduate and you pin their wings on, it is a very rewarding aspect of the job. It is not dangerous.

Senator Atkins: Do most of the pilots go to Cold Lake or Bagotville?

Col. Boyer: In the Canadian Forces we have the helicopter stream, the ``multi'' stream and the jet stream, and they will be streamed out as necessary.

Senator Atkins: If a pilot wants to be a helicopter pilot, he has to complete your training?

Col. Boyer: That is correct. It is Phase II of our training. If he wants to be a jet pilot he has to take Phase II, III and IV before he gets to the CF-18.

Senator Forestall: Welcome, gentlemen; thank you for taking the time to come here today.

I will not dwell on this, but at the time of the last major incident many Canadians were disturbed that there appeared to be such an undue delay in CFB Moose Jaw's ability to get lift equipment to the scene of the incident and to remove persons who may have been injured, or otherwise. One of the reasons given for the delay was that there were no helicopters on the station.

I do not want to pursue this in any depth, since the report has not come out, but just with respect to their availability at a flight training centre, where we train our show pilots, why do we not have helicopter assistance?

Col. Boyer: As a result of a policy paper, or a paper that looked at the helicopter coverage in 1994, it was decided that the risk present at the Wing was insufficient to justify the need for a helicopter. That is the reason there is no helicopter in Moose Jaw.

Senator Forestall: I am sure you maintain insurance on your car, and you are a good driver?

Col. Boyer: I hope I am an excellent driver.

Senator Forestall: A helicopter is a form of insurance policy. I will say no more about it, other than that I find it inexcusable that for the sake of a few bucks the capacity to transit quickly to the scene in the event of injury was taken away and not restored.

I am intrigued by the Cold Lake situation. Your brothers up in Alberta say that things there are deteriorating quickly. Are you sufficiently confident in the future of CFB Moose Jaw that you would argue for new construction as opposed to extensive and, I might add, very costly repairs?

Col. Boyer: The NFTC contract will run for another 15 years and I do not see any reason for the Canadian Forces to cease needing military pilots; therefore, I see a bright future for Moose Jaw following the NFTC contract. When it makes sense from a business perspective to do new construction it makes good sense that Moose Jaw would receive new construction as well.

Senator Forestall: Are you requesting new construction?

Col. Boyer: We have received as part of NTFC a brand-new, multi-million dollar complex as well as the accommodation building for the students.

There are two other projects that should begin in the near future. One is the construction of a new food-services and mess building, to replace the existing one, which is approximately 54 years old. The other is the replacement of the arena, which is very old. There is also a project to replace the Snowbird hangars in the future. In the short term, the food-services and mess building is the one that should happen in a year or two.

Senator Forestall: Do you have a pool facility on the base?

Col. Boyer: Yes, we have a pool.

Senator Forestall: Is the gymnasium in good shape? It seems to me that it is in an old building, too, an old hangar.

Col. Boyer: It is an old building; however, we are doing some major renovations to that. We are now at phase three of the renovations, and phase four, which is the last phase, should be completed by next fall. That will bring the building to a very good standard for our military members.

Senator Forestall: Do you contract out support services — infrastructure cleaning, snow removal, hauling, and that type of thing?

Col. Boyer: Yes, we do.

Mr. LeBoldus: That is covered under our contracts with the subcontractors: ATCO Frontec, for example, for field maintenance; Aramark for food services, Serco for navigation aids, et cetera.

Senator Forestall: Do you tender these services?

Mr. LeBoldus: Yes, sir.

Senator Forestall: How many years are they for?

Mr. LeBoldus: It depends, sir, I would say that two to three years would be the average length of a contract right now.

Senator Forestall: Do you handle the fuel services as well?

Mr. LeBoldus: Through ATCO Frontec we do, yes, sir.

Senator Forestall: The contract, as I recall, required you to direct a certain number of movements per day. I think we have referred to it loosely as a serviceability rate?

Mr. LeBoldus: Yes, sir.

Senator Forestall: Could you give us that number.

Mr. LeBoldus: We are mandated to provide sorties, which are basically aircraft movements. Our serviceability rates are in the neighbourhood of 85 to 90 per cent since the program began. We had some initial problems with the program and with the T6 Harvard aircraft, which is a new aircraft with a new design. Lately we have had no difficulty providing the resources.

Maintenance is very good; we have some ups and downs as the aircraft are used, but for the most part we are able to provide what the Department of National Defence asks for.

Senator Forestall: Are Bombardier and the government happy with the 85 to 90 per cent? It seems fairly high.

Mr. LeBoldus: Yes, we are happy with that. Since the beginning of the program we have discussed growth potential and we have purchased two additional Harvard aircraft and two Hawk aircraft. Although we have not touched on it, there is growth potential resulting from that, and because of the serviceability.

As I mentioned earlier, we have had great success in our ability to service the aircraft on a day-to-day basis to keep them flying. We fly the Harvard aircraft five times a day and the Hawk aircraft four times a day.

Senator Forestall: With respect to the operation and maintenance of the simulators, in your contract there was some question regarding who would be responsible for software.

Mr. LeBoldus: For the simulators?

Senator Forestall: Who pays for the software for the simulators?

Mr. LeBoldus: Bombardier does. We have a support services contract with CAE, the company that built the simulators, the four in Moose Jaw and the one in Cold Lake.

Senator Forestall: What I meant to ask was this: Did the money come out of your basic contract with the government?

Mr. LeBoldus: Yes, sir. It was budgeted for as part of the funding to get this program up and running.

Senator Forestall: Does Bombardier own the simulators?

Mr. LeBoldus: Yes, I believe we do.

Senator Forestall: If CFB Moose Jaw closed down and you had to move, you would load the simulators on your truck?

Mr. LeBoldus: Yes. The same thing would happen with the courseware as well.

Senator Forestall: I wish you well with your experiment. Above all, I would speak for all of us here when I wish the Snowbirds well this summer.

The Chairman: Colonel, could you explain the economics of this? Clearly, Bombardier is a profit-making corporation, and yet you are faced with a contract that puts certain constraints on you and limits your flexibility, which would not be the case if you were doing the same sort of training with people in uniform. You have sitting beside you a pilot, a former member of the air force who is retired, who presumably has a pension and presumably is getting a good salary from Bombardier. Could a similar program work, if we found financial enhancements to keep pilots in the service and operated the program ourselves?

Col. Boyer: If resources were unlimited, certainly we could do it. This particular contractual arrangement that we have with Bombardier was really the result of reduced funding in DND and we needed some kind of mechanism to renew our fleet of aircraft for training as there was no funding to do so. Bombardier was able to go to the markets to raise money to buy the aircraft. Thereafter, DND, with international participation, pays Bombardier annually for the 20 years of the contract. That is how we renewed our training scheme.

In 1998-99 there was a lot of compression; had we not been as innovative as we were, Canada would have lost capacity at that time. I believe it is a very good, beneficial arrangement.

The Chairman: You are not answering my question, sir. We will judge whether it is innovative or not. There is a profit here; Bombardier makes a profit. Canadian Forces have the capacity to lease aircraft; you do not need a private corporation to figure out how to do a lease; Canadian Forces lease things all the time.

Could you please explain to the committee whether it is a matter of Bombardier's having better management skills than the Canadian Forces have and bringing these management skills together in a way that Canadian Forces cannot. The component that they take away from this, in terms of their profit, essentially comes out of the taxpayers' pockets. I want to know why Canadian Forces cannot do the same thing and why we cannot have pilots in uniform, as we have had in the past, and provide the training that way. Why can we not have innovative management within the Canadian Forces to provide the same services that they do but without that profit margin going elsewhere?

Col. Boyer: We did it in the past, I am sure we could do it again. However, the Department has chosen at this time to work with industry.

The Chairman: Have they chosen to work with industry because Bombardier is able to do it cheaper than you can do it, with their profit margin included?

Col. Boyer: I do not know the details.

The Chairman: Who would know the details, sir?

Col. Boyer: The office in Ottawa that oversees this program.

The Chairman: Who would that be?

Col. Boyer: The office of the director of air-force generated contracts, D Air CFG. They control Goose Bay and other contractual arrangements that the air force has for support.

The Chairman: They have a business case there that will demonstrate that they cannot operate with the same efficiency that Bombardier can and that if they were doing it themselves it would cost the taxpayers more than it does to contract it out to a profit-making private corporation?

Col. Boyer: They will certainly have the rationale for the original decision.

Senator Atkins: How would you describe the morale in Moose Jaw, in terms of both your operations?

Col. Boyer: The morale is very good. Pilot training is a very hyped-up type of activity. It is young people undergoing advanced training; they are motivated to succeed and it is a very positive atmosphere.

The same thing goes for the Snowbirds. They are a very proud organization and as far as I can see their morale is number one.

Mr. LeBoldus: I would say the same from my perspective. The morale is very high. The pilots who work for Bombardier are all retired military pilots anywhere from age 40 to age 65. Many of them are there strictly for the opportunity to instruct because they love instructing. As Colonel Boyer mentioned earlier, it is a gratifying business and it is very noticeable when someone is happy with his work.

As far as technicians and other staff are concerned, I think the same applies to them. We have a highly motivated group of technicians; hence the ability to be able to tune the aircraft as quickly as we can, as well as doing the major maintenance activity associated with keeping the aircraft serviceable and on the line.

Senator Atkins: Do instructors have the same medical requirements as members of the air force?

Mr. LeBoldus: No. Because they are not flying they do not have the same medical requirements as pilots within the Canadian Forces.

Col. Boyer: The instruction inside the aircraft is done by military instructors, not by civilian instructors.

Senator Atkins: Are you saying you do not fly?

Mr. LeBoldus: I do. I have a civilian air transport pilot licence and I fly under the jurisdiction of a Canadian licence. I am also checked on a regular basis by Canadian Forces pilots, because these are military-registered aircraft.

So I have an instrument rating on both aircraft which is administered by the Canadian Forces, and my medical category is a civilian medical category with Transport Canada.

The other pilots I referred to are the Bombardier pilot employees. Those who fly are in the same category as I am. Those who do not fly have no medical requirements.

Senator Atkins: This is a question for the Colonel. How many reserves do you have, and while they are in the process of serving under your command how many are leaving for regular operations?

Col. Boyer: I have 30 reservist personnel on the Wing. As far as I can remember none have deployed under the Reservist Act overseas.

The Chairman: Gentlemen, on behalf of the committee I thank you very much for appearing before us and for assisting us in gaining a better understanding of how things work and how one privatizes pilot training. We are grateful to you for taking the time out of your busy days. Thank you very much.

Honourable senators, our next panel, which will deal with issues relating to the reserves, is comprised of Lieutenant- Colonel Wainwright, lieutenant-Colonel Miller, Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford and Lieutenant-Commander Bell.

Lieutenant-Colonel J. E. Wainwright is a member of the Canadian Forces Reserve who has been active in the military community for approximately 29 years and has been with the medical branch since 1993. He currently serves as Commanding Officer of 16 and 17 Field Ambulance Canadian Forces Health Services Reserve and is responsible for all reserve force medical capabilities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

During the spring flooding of 1997 in Manitoba, Lieutenant-Colonel Wainwright served as an active duty reservist, initially with air evacuation support and later as the senior medical planner for the operation. In his civilian career he is an emergency preparedness adviser for the Government of Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization.

Lieutenant-Colonel Charlie Miller has been Commanding Officer of the 10th Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery for nearly five years. He will relinquish command in May, 2005 to take up new duties at Brigade Headquarters.

In his civilian career he is the manager of the Public Service Career Development Program with the RCM Police. His secondary duty is the operational coordinator for ``F'' Division search and rescue team. He is the first civilian to hold this position.

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Rutherford began his military career as a radio troop commander. He has served overseas in Germany and Rwanda and commanded a squadron of the Royal School of Signals in England. From 1997 to 1999 he commanded the Signals Squadron in Gagetown. In May of 2002 Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford was appointed Dean of the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College. In June of 2003, he took command of 73/74 Communications Group; after a reorganization in 2004 he retained command of 73 Communication Group, comprising seven units located across the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario at the Lakehead.

Lieutenant-Commander John Bell joined the Naval Reserve in 1977. He was promoted to his present rank in January of 2002 and has worked with the Director of Reserves at National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa, the Director of Maritime Force Development, and the Director of Maritime Materiel Program Management and Maritime Forces Atlantic. He has taught at the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in both the administration training company and the leadership training division. He has also attended the NATO school, taking both the NATO staff officers course and the NATO reserve and mobilization forces course.

Gentlemen, we understand you all have brief statements. Would you proceed, please.

Lieutenant-Commander John Bell, Commander, HMCS Queen, National Defence: Honourable Senators and guests, I am Lieutenant-Commander John Bell. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Regina and the Prairies where so many excellent sailors have come from. I look forward to providing you with my perspective as the commanding officer of a Western Canadian naval reserve division and, of course, to answer your questions concerning Canada's security and defence needs.

I am a primary reserve logistics officer and have been in the navy for about 17 years, all of this service being as a reservist in various classes of service.

I joined in 1977 in HMCS Brunswicker, in St. John, New Brunswick, and released in 1979 to pursue a civilian career in the Greater Toronto area. In 1989 I rejoined the naval reserve in HMCS Carleton in Ottawa and have since served in various capacities in naval reserve divisions in Kingston, St. John, Halifax and now HMCS Queen, here in Regina.

I have also had many years of full-time experience in the navy in the places, sir, which you have already mentioned. My most recent full-time service was in Maritime Forces Atlantic as the formation development planning officer and now I am appointed as the full-time commanding officer of HMCS Queen.

HMCS Queen is one of 24 naval reserve divisions across the country. It was originally founded as the Regina Half- company of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve in 1923. HMCS Queen was decommissioned in 1964 due to budgetary cutbacks but was recommissioned in 1975.

The unit occupies the building that was constructed for it in 1955 and now shares the facility with the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Prairie) and 734 Communications Squadron, as well as two cadet corps and a Navy League cadet corps.

The establishment of HMCS Queen, like all small naval reserve divisions, is 89 personnel. The current strength of the unit is approximately 65 personnel of all ranks. The crew is comprised of people from all walks of life with the overwhelming majority of the master seamen and below being university or college students.

This diverse group of people displays three common traits: professionalism, dedication and commitment. As with any Class A reservist, the men and women of HMCS Queen have to balance school, work, family, social and other activities with a demanding part-time military career.

Most personnel are from the Greater Regina area, although some people do commute from Moose Jaw. Our full- time staff numbers nine; they are a mixture of regular force and reserve personnel.

Our annual budget is $254,000 for Class A pay and operations and maintenance. In addition, Naval Reserve Headquarters pays for all full-time training for our members and also a considerable amount of Class A regenerative training throughout the year to maintain combat readiness. These salaries paid during the training periods exceed $100,000 per annum.

Unlike other primary reserve elements, the missions of the naval reserve are clearly set out and are distinct from our regular force counterparts. The mandate is clear in that the naval reserve, and each of its divisions, is responsible for providing trained personnel to crew the Kingston class ships, four port security units, four port inspection diving teams, and to assist the regular force by the provision of maritime intelligence and control and guidance to shipping.

HMCS Queen also provides students, instructors and staff to naval schools and headquarters and bases.

In an operational sense, it is unusual for naval reservists to augment the regular force; rather, we tend to be used operationally alongside and complementary to the regular force. In addition to these operationally focussed missions, another mission of the naval reserve in each of the communities is to represent the navy and provide Canadians with equal opportunity across the country to serve in that navy.

While not part of any formal liaison with local or regional first responders we do maintain an informal liaison with the RCMP, the Regina Police Service and Fire Service so that these agencies are aware of our capabilities in the event that they need to request our services from National Defence headquarters.

On either coast the other government departments are aware of capabilities that are inherent in the navy, although they may not be cognizant of which are provided by the regular force and which are crewed by the naval reserve.

In examining the function of a naval reserve division you find essentially five roles: recruiting, retention, training, personnel output and personnel administration.

Attracting and recruiting personnel for the naval reserve is obviously key to the success of any NRD. Attraction is the job of the naval reserve division, and the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre is responsible for actually processing the file. HMCS Queen has a good relationship with the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre detachment here in Regina and has generally received a good level of service from the staff at the detachment.

There are times of the year when the primary reserve recruiting must necessarily give way to some more time- sensitive initiatives for the regular force, and we understand this. There are also times of the year when we need the fastest processing possible and, by and large, when dealing with issues under their direct control the detachment is successful in meeting our goals.

More problematic are issues that occur in the Canadian Forces recruiting group owing to medical or security issues. These issues are also being worked on and the addition of the naval reserve to the CFRG memorandum of understanding on provisional enrolment of clean medical files promises better results.

Competition in Regina for the potential recruit is fairly intense; there are six primary reserve units in a city of 200,000 people. We are focussing on recruiting people as early as possible to allow the maximum possible period while they are in school, university or college. We are recruiting as a team using our Class A reservists and our full-time recruiter. Our quota this year is 15 personnel: 11 non-commissioned members and four officers.

Retention of trained personnel is obviously key to the growth of the unit and its ability to fulfill mandated tasks. The key items are: meaningful employment, pay and benefits, personal development and what I call the ``fun'' factor — in other words, is this a unique, team-oriented social experience which I have fun doing? In the naval reserve I believe the answer is yes, although, with the growth of operational importance and the requisite training, we probably do not do as much ``fun'' as we used to. However, I believe that is part of the price we pay for an operationally oriented and ready naval reserve.

Of course, training is at the heart of what we do. Our mission is to provide trained personnel who are ready to take up an operational task at any moment. In a naval reserve division the primary in-unit training period is from September to May. Conversely, the busiest time for out-of-unit training is from May to September. To a limited extent this pattern is changing with the navy offering basic military qualification courses in January, April and July. Trades courses in many military occupations are available throughout the year.

In the unit much of the training focuses on individual skills through computer-based, distance learning or through pre-printed and distributed modular training packages. However, there is some limited collective training; that takes place particularly in the area of port security operations.

When I speak of personnel output, I am talking of the ability of the unit to provide both collective groups and individuals to the navy for training and deployment as required. As you will have seen, the main operational focus has been the Kingston class vessels, although in recent years there has been an increasing tempo of training and operations in the field of port security, force protection, maritime intelligence and naval coordination and guidance to shipping. At times the naval reserve has been stretched to provide contributions in all these areas, but to the best of my knowledge it has never yet failed to provide the trained personnel as required.

Personnel administration is the efficient leadership and management of all aspects of our sailors' careers. There has been a lot of change in various computer systems and programs, orders and regulations, and policy. In fact, it can be said that this aspect of a naval reserve division is full of constant change and that the personnel employed doing this on a day-to-day basis in a naval reserve division are among the busiest in the naval reserve.

In summary, life in the naval reserve today is full of demands and challenges, but this must be balanced against the positives of a real, total force organization with a clear mission, a single standard for training and employment and a first-rate and motivated team. Our headquarters is there to help us do our job, and together we are moving the yardsticks on many important issues. HMCS Queen is a small but vital part of Canada's naval reserve, located in the heart of the Prairies where so many fine sailors have originated. We are proud of our nation, of the naval service of Canada and the unit in which we serve.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my opening remarks; I thank you for the opportunity to make them.

The Chairman: Thank you very much, Commander.

Lieutenant-Colonel Charlie Miller, Commander, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, National Defence: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Honourable Senators and guests. I am Lieutenant-Colonel Charlie Miller, Commanding Officer, 10th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. Thank you very much for the opportunity to address you today.

I have been with the regular reserve forces for 30 years and have been the commanding officer of 10th Field for the past four and a half years or so. On May 28 I will be relinquishing command of my regiment.

10th Field Regiment has two batteries: 18 Battery in Regina and 64 Battery in Yorkton. Our established strength is 127 positions and we are parading approximately 60 soldiers at this time. We have had difficulties over the past few years with the recruiting system, but they appear to have been addressed and recruiting has been opened now so that we may bring in as many recruits as we are able to in both locations.

Our mission is to provide two gun detachments, a reconnaissance troop and elements of a battery headquarters to 38 Canadian Brigade Group Composite Artillery Battery. We train on a regular basis with our colleagues in Brandon, Manitoba, and Kenora, Ontario. We have two indirect fire trainers, one in Regina and one in Yorkton, to prepare the soldiers and their officers for their courses and exercises. We also provide instructors and students for the local continuous individual training year (CITY).

Our operating budget for 2004-05 was $179,125. The expenditures from this budget include the Class A training pay, field operations allowance, travel duty allowance, vehicle rentals, rations for local training and commuting assistance for those who live out of town. The fuel, some rations and centrally controlled training do not come out of the unit budget, but are controlled by either 38 Brigade or Land Forces Western Area.

The Regina Armoury was built in 1928. It is a very nice building, but its age is showing. It houses four reserve units along with fulltime staff and four cadet corps. There is no surplus space whatsoever. It would be helpful to have some form of barrack accommodation, along with laundry facilities, when we have people from out of town to train. At times the lack of classroom facilities also causes problems.

As I stated previously, we did have some trouble with recruiting in the past couple of years, but that now seems to have been addressed. The complaint I get from my soldiers is that we do not train often enough. As a unit, we used to field the guns and shoot them roughly seven times a year — three or four times in the fall and again three or four times in the spring — and then there was the summer concentration. Because of the budget cuts we have had over the last number of years we are now out to shoot two or three times a year — once or twice in the fall and once or twice in spring; then, again, we have the summer concentration.

Most of the soldiers, and I agree with them, feel that we need to be in the field more often in order to enhance our skills. It would also be helpful to have more small arms ammunition to conduct our essential level of capability (ELOC) training. Reserve soldiers are presently funded for 37.5 days at the unit and an additional seven days for the summer. The soldiers feel, and I concur, that if we did more field training it would improve recruiting and retention. My last point on equipment is that our gun tractors are getting very old and are in need of replacement.

At present and over the last several years 10th Field Regiment has been making a significant contribution to the regular forces. In addition to the 60 soldiers we are parading we presently have two captains, one chief warrant officer, one warrant officer, a sergeant and two master bombardiers working full time at various units across Canada with the Canadian Forces. These call-outs range from six months to, in one case, several years. We have also had seven soldiers on Rotos 11 and 12, one in the Golan Heights and one each on Operation Bronze and Operation Athena. We fielded seven soldiers, including myself, on Operation Peregrine, fighting forest fires in B.C. If we are able to build up the strength of the unit we will be able to contribute more. In the last few years several of our soldiers have transferred to the regular force and we have also lost quite a number to the RCMP, whose training academy is in Regina.

We have one officer attending training with domestic operations as a liaison officer for the first responders in the community. I have also made contact with the first responders in our community through my civilian employment with the RCMP as the search and rescue team leader. I have spoken with some first responders to inform them of what I would be able to provide, if required, from a military aspect.

Another point I would like to comment on is the pace of force generation for domestic operations and overseas missions. When we deploy as reservists the paper trail is immense, to say the least. A year and a half ago in B.C. most soldiers were taking one full day for an in-clearance into the theatre to fight forest fires and one full day for an out- clearance, in addition to all the paperwork that occurred at the unit prior to departure. For soldiers who only deployed for one week that took up far too much precious time. We need to shorten the process and to speed things up. When we deployed the first draft of reserves from my unit we did not have the ability to sustain any follow-up, due to the numbers. I certainly had enough volunteers step forward on the first round, but there were not many on the second. If we are to maintain the operational tempo that we have had of late, with the deployments that we have had, we will need a robust recruiting campaign to be launched now.

In order to meet our future needs we need to train junior officers and non-commissioned members now. This may mean running training courses without the full complement of students. Currently, not all courses are run each year and that inhibits the advancement of our soldiers and delays the growth and experience of future leaders. If we want and expect them to fill leadership roles in the future, we need to give them the tools and training now.

At a recent Land Forces Western Area commanders symposium in Calgary we were informed that we are to go full speed ahead with individual training for our soldiers. As I am sure you are well aware, we cannot grow good, senior non-commissioned or commissioned officers if they are not afforded the opportunity to train on an individual and collective basis with other arms.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of 10th Field Regiment in Regina. We have a good relationship with our colleagues in other units and with the general public in both Yorkton and Regina. We have excellent employer support in Regina as well as in Yorkton. Several employers have contacted me personally to say that the soldiers in their employ will be given the time to train when they require it.

In my own position with the public service, I have had two weeks, and more in some years, every year for the past 30 years to attend reserve training. The community, overall, supports this, but if we expect that support to grow we need to become more visible in the community.

While the Canadian Forces recruiting centres are working at more presentations, we still must maintain a visible, ``community orientated'' presence outside the normal classrooms and presentation centres. We have recently had ex- Senator Jack Wiebe appointed as our new Honorary Colonel, and we look forward to the assistance and voice he is able to provide for us. He has had, and continues to have, a key interest in the Canadian Forces.

In closing, thank you again for the opportunity to address you. I am prepared to answer any questions you have.

The Chairman: Thank you, Colonel.

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Rutherford, Commander, 73 Communication Group, National Defence: Honourable Senators, it is a pleasure to be here and I welcome the opportunity today to provide to you an overview of 73 Communication Group, which is a formation comprised of seven reserve units.

Group headquarters is in Edmonton; seven units are located across Western Canada from east to west, in Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary. This is the communication reserve's largest formation in terms of number of units, personnel and geographical area. Each unit has a commanding officer with the rank of captain or major. The group has a total strength of 612, all ranks. I am the only regular force group commander among the five communication groups across Canada.

The role of 73 Communication Group is to generate combat-ready communication and information systems detachments in support of the Canadian Forces operations domestically and internationally. Each of the seven units has a specific role to accomplish by generating deployable communication capabilities that include personnel and equipment. Five of the units can deploy tactical communications detachments using the same radio systems and vehicles as the army. Two units can generate long-range radio and satellite communication detachments similar to the Joint Signal Regiment in Kingston.

My headquarters annually develops a business plan that costs out the tasks we are required to achieve. In general, I account for the costs associated with reserve pay and unit operations. The group's overall budget for this fiscal year was $4.57 million. Our budget is not responsible for any infrastructure costs; such costs are accounted for by our support bases.

Each unit has a limited training capacity. By that I mean that it is constrained by equipment type and amount; there is insufficient tactical communications equipment in each unit for soldiers to train on. This fact is recognized by our chain of command and is being addressed. We overcome equipment shortfalls in the reserves by leveraging with the army reserve to make use of their equipment and with the regular force to make use of their equipment, particularly in Edmonton. Despite these constraints, units are capable of conducting effective individual training.

The units have access to training infrastructure. However, some units are better off than others. For example, the unit in Edmonton benefits from being in close proximity to the regular force brigade, while the unit in Thunder Bay has to travel extensively to conduct, for example, their annual range qualifications.

The lifeline of all units is related to their success in recruiting and retention. The recruiting challenges are regionally based and require a full-time effort on our part. For instance, in Alberta, where the economy is very strong, we are in competition with many organizations to attract the right people. We are primarily interested in those who are approaching the end of high school or proceeding into post-secondary education. We believe that we have much to offer young Canadians, in that we can provide significant challenges in their lives and give them training and skills that are very much sought after in the civilian sector. We can also pay them income and benefits over a four-year period that will facilitate their post-secondary education aspirations.

An impressive fact about communication reservists is their willingness to volunteer for operations. At this very moment 73 Communication Group has 17 soldiers deployed on operations overseas. Since January 2004 we have sent 36 soldiers abroad. Communication reservists also continually rise to the challenges within Canada. The summer of 2003 saw 25 reservists deployed to the forest fires in B.C. In 2002 some 30 went to the G8 Summit in Calgary. There is a steady flow of communication reservists into the regular force; in turn, we attract quality personnel retiring out of the regular force. Overall it is a win-win situation for the entire defence team.

My final point concerns the members of my communication group as a whole. Honourable Senators, these are truly great Canadians, for they balance busy and often complex lives. They volunteer to wear the uniform and serve the country. They come from all aspects of their local communities and, in many cases, are community leaders. They are not just students; they are professionals in their primary careers, business people, mothers and fathers, who are committed. At times it can be very challenging to remain dedicated to the reserves, and this speaks to their genuine loyalty and professionalism. They have my utmost respect, and I never miss an opportunity to tell them so. They are great examples to all Canadians.

Senator J. Michael Forrestall (Deputy Chairman) in the chair.

The Deputy Chairman: Thank you very much, sir.

We will now hear from Colonel Wainwright, a man after my own heart, the medical company having been my company. Carry on, sir.

Lieutenant-Commander J. E. Wainwright, Commander, 16/17 Field Ambulance, National Defence: Thank you for the opportunity to appear here today and present to you a little bit of the history and the story of who and what we are as the medical reserves.

In my capacity as commanding officer I have members located in the principal centres of Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon and Winnipeg to provide a health service support capability ranging from first responder to medical officer.

My assigned role as defined by the Commander, Canadian Forces Health Services Group is as follows:

To provide trained personnel to support, augment and sustain Canadian Forces Health Services Group organizations for CF operations and training activities; and to provide emergency health services support to the affiliated Reserve Canadian Brigade Group in accordance with the applicable mutual support agreement with the army.

We are affiliated with 38 Canadian Brigade Group and also enjoy close working relationships with the Canadian Forces recruiting centres, CF Health Services clinics and the cadets.

My operating budget for the fiscal year 2003-04 was approximately $1.4 million.

I take great pride in the service our reservists have provided to Canada. Specifically, I will mention the flooding operations in Manitoba in 1997; the SARS outbreak, where we had standby members prepared; the 2003 fires in British Columbia; 9/11, where we provided two translators to support ``hosting'' of passengers. We have members who have been on operational tours in Bosnia and Croatia. We have members who are part of the Civil-Military Cooperation Unit — a NATO instructor, who has instructed in Turkey and Bosnia. At 2 Health Services Group Headquarters I have a member providing support as the A3 Medical Tasks and Training person.

We have training challenges ahead of us, but my ability to generate basic and advanced trained individuals is limited by the system in which we operate. The training of medical reservists can take from one to three years, depending on the amount of time an individual can devote to the military. A member may also undertake army leadership training, as well as further health services medical skill building.

The conduct of all training requires a significant amount of dedication and cooperation to choreograph the logistics for these courses. Most important, there must be a sufficient number of members available.

In considering the status of infrastructure and capacity to support training, we have explored alternative training means with ``off the shelf'' courses at community colleges, such as the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and the U.S. Army Reserve training facility in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Imaginative future partnering with civilian agencies and other military forces is essential in getting the right training at the right time for the right people. I can attest that joint training experiences can significantly assist in our readiness to be integrated into larger health services organizations at an operational level.

Innovative means of delivering training are being explored. Even as these systems evolve, part of our constraint is the difficulty we have to generate our own instructors, as in the reserves we are largely responsible to train our own personnel. We need to continually evolve this capability. I recently attended an army briefing on summer training where the required staff slate exceeded the total number of trained instructors. Regrettably, we in the health services branch are not much better off.

We have employment challenges. The increased operational tempo of the Canadian Forces necessitates increased reliance on reserves to augment and sustain operations. Thus, recruiting and training are now orientated towards the expectation that the member may eventually deploy on operations. The complexity of our operational environment requires a commitment to lifelong learning and a significant amount of time dedicated to reserve activity. The so-called ``weekend warriors'' have been replaced by the citizen soldiers who know that they may be called upon to assist at any time. Our challenge is to be ready with the skill set, the support of the employer and, most important, the support of one's family.

The ability of the military to train part-time reserve healthcare providers from scratch is constrained by the fact that the members simply do not have the time to acquire sufficient knowledge and skills to provide much more than first responder capability. It is uneconomical for the Canadian Forces to attempt to duplicate the medical training that is available in the civilian sector. Therefore, we are changing our recruiting practices to target personnel who hold recognized clinical skills and who will enhance our ability to augment and sustain the regular force.

This will require a change in the way we do business and will take time for us to implement. Civilian sector clinicians are overworked and expensive. Some are not interested in doing the same thing in the military as they do in their civilian employment. We must acquire the resources and strategies to attract these people; we have to be able to offer them interesting opportunities and challenges, thereby setting the stage for success for both the member and the organization.

I am proud of the documented performance of members under my command, as they have preserved life and limb during military operations and on the street, whether in uniform or not.

In January of this year I issued a charter to press ahead with the development of a strategy and plan of action to address our human resource requirements. This strategy, in cooperation with the Canadian Forces Health Services Group Civil Military Cooperation cell, will include strengthening our ability to interface with communities that support us through a liaison officer position. The envisioned end state for this person will far exceed that of the traditional ``unit recruiter'' and will require skills in job placement, negotiating memorandums of understanding, public speaking and interviewing.

The inclusion of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council is vital in this effort. They have been instrumental in the establishment of employer support policies and in raising the profile of the Canadian Forces. We will continue to coordinate our efforts and support the council, the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre and 38 Canadian Brigade Group.

Finally, I would like to speak of some of the challenges that we face in the continuing viability of the reserve force health services.

The reserve force must demonstrate its ability to support both the domestic and the international interests of Canada — whether it is a flood operation in Manitoba or humanitarian efforts overseas.

Resources are key to the success of my business plan. I will require the necessary equipment to allow me to train my personnel and provide support to the affiliated brigade. The timely delivery of this materiel impacts on our ability to provide the support, to attract the recruits and to retain the current members. For this we rely not only on the Canadian Forces Health Services Group but also on the army.

Recruiting and training shortfalls can be crippling; it takes time to recruit, train and build a member's skills to a useable level. The loss of a person during this process reduces my ability to achieve success.

The civilian medical community is under significant pressure and there appears to be no sign of it abating. This will make recruiting and training these individuals an even greater challenge in the future. One has to understand that their civilian job may take priority when I need them most.

Training offered to the traditional citizen soldier reservist must be challenging but achievable. Some form of managed readiness must be developed while still allowing for the ability to train for the skills needed for domestic and international operations.

I thank you for your support.

The Deputy Chairman: Thank you very much, Colonel.

Senator Atkins: Thank you, gentlemen, for your presentations. I should tell you, Colonel Miller, that you have a great man as an honorary colonel. He was on the original committee here and he never missed an opportunity, wherever we went, to raise the subject of the reserves. You have in him a champion and, apart from that, he is just a wonderful person.

LCol. Miller: Thank you, sir.

Senator Atkins: Consistent in your presentations is lack of equipment. Is the lack or upgrading of equipment based purely on funding?

LCol. Wainwright: I have just taken delivery of a $35,000 training manikin. The equipment that we are training with now is expensive and has to be spaced out to fit into a budget profile that has been developed by my headquarters.

Senator Atkins: Are you happy with the amount of funds you are able to call on?

LCol. Wainwright: More and more equipment is coming our way. We have to build the skill sets to be able to utilize the equipment that is coming.

Senator Atkins: What about communications?

LCol. Rutherford: The communication reserve's equipment is exactly the same as the army's tactical communications equipment, and the regular army is short of communications equipment. It is a huge challenge. Is it foreseeable in the future that the communication reserve can expect additional tactical level communications equipment? Yes, but only if that equipment is brought in line with future force expansion.

As I said, what we do is leverage with our brethren in the militia and with the regular force. That is working and will continue to work for the communication reserve.

Senator Atkins: Commander Bell, I do not think that applies to you to the same degree. What about you, Colonel Miller?

LCol. Miller: As you are probably aware, sir, the 155 calibre howitzers, the tracked howitzers, have now been shelved and, I believe, sold. Basically, we are using the same guns now as the regular force. The guns are fine, although we would certainly like to have more ammunition for them.

Our fleet of heavy trucks is getting old.

Senator Atkins: Where do you go for training?

LCol. Miller: We do the majority of our training in Shilo, sir, just south of Brandon.

Senator Atkins: It is interesting that in Saskatchewan there is only one military base, and that is Moose Jaw. Is there a demand from the community for reserve units to participate in different community activities?

LCol. Miller: Approximately three or four weeks ago the City of Yorkton had a winterfest and we went there and set up tentage for them so that the public had a warm place to go. We put out a gun and some military equipment to use as a recruiting tool and to enhance our presence in the city.

The other military base we do have in Saskatchewan, sir, is Dundurn, just south of Saskatoon. It is a training area that we have used from time to time. I had my regiment up there last fall to do a direct shoot with the guns. There is an impact area and barrack facilities.

Senator Atkins: Everywhere we go, when we meet with reserve units, they tell us that, if there was a full contingent turnout, their budgets would be exceeded and it would be unmanageable. Do you care to comment on that?

LCol. Miller: Yes, sir. If all my soldiers came out to every exercise we had, I could not fund them all; it would eat up my budget fairly quickly. If I have more soldiers, I need more bullets; if I need more bullets, I need more money. It is a continuum that affects everything.

Senator Atkins: Are the personnel in your unit mostly high school and college students?

LCol. Miller: We have about 50-50 right now, sir. We have about 25 per cent high school students, 25 per cent college students and the other 50 per cent are in the work world doing a variety of different jobs.

Senator Atkins: Are many of them former regular military?

LCol. Miller: Perhaps about 10 per cent. We do not have many regular force gunners retiring in Saskatchewan or Regina; most of them retire in the Brandon-Shilo area, and 26 Field in Brandon picks up most of them.

Senator Atkins: Do any others of you wish to comment?

LCol. Rutherford: From the point of view of the communication reserve the influx of regular force personnel into the units is also regionally based. Edmonton benefits, Calgary does to some extent, and Winnipeg does. The other units in Thunder Bay, Regina and Saskatoon do not have many ex-regular force personnel. In each of my units I have two regular force training personnel full time with the unit.

Senator Atkins: Colonel Wainwright?

LCol. Wainwright: We are only funded for approximately 50 to 60 per cent of the total personnel that we could actually have on the ground parading. Our profile right now is probably about 50 per cent students, whether in high school, university or post-graduate work. The other 50 per cent have civilian careers.

Perhaps at the expense of the people being transferred to the Shilo area, I have been successful in attracting members who are leaving the regular force, and using them and maintaining their skill set.

Senator Atkins: Commander Bell, the myth is, of course, that you have no problem recruiting members from Saskatchewan because they want to join the navy in hordes, whereas Nova Scotians would join the army.

LCdr. Bell: We face the same challenges as the other primary reserve units do. Our funding is a little different in that we fund based on a capability plan rather than on a per capita basis. I do not think it is quite as challenging, because according to the way we are funded we look at outcomes and how we get to outcomes.

I do have ex-regular force personnel in my unit; there are some people who want to come back to settle in Saskatchewan and still be involved with the navy, and that works out very well. I also, of course, have in my full-time staff a number of regular force personnel.

Senator Atkins: I am curious as to how many women you have in your unit and what the percentage of ethnic representation is.

LCol. Miller: We have probably about 25 per cent female members. I have a female captain; my regimental sergeant- major is a female; we have female master bombardiers. Out of the 60 members there are three or four persons from visible minorities, one of whom is currently in Bosnia.

LCol. Wainwright: Approximately 40 to 60 per cent of my unit, dependant upon who is on the ground, will be female. We have a well integrated 50-50 mix on average. We draw people from all ethnic backgrounds — which can be interesting when you have to order food for Muslims and others.

We have been highly successful in using this to advantage. For example, during 9/11 I was able to determine that I had at least four personnel who were fluent in Cantonese whom we could call on at short notice; we also have Filipino members and members from a number of the Eastern Bloc countries.

LCol. Rutherford: I would estimate that we have 20 to 30 per cent of females in each of my seven units; each unit is comprised of 50 to 60 members.

Certainly, the demographics are interesting in cities such as Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg. Linguistic abilities are a capability that is very much in demand in the Canadian Forces.

LCdr. Bell: We have about the standard percentage of females in HMCS Queen as we do in the naval reserves, which is between 35 and 40 per cent. In terms of visible minorities, I have five in my ship's company who belong to visible minorities.

Senator Atkins: We were told yesterday by reserve officers that to recruit a reserve member they must interview 250 people to get one. Would you agree with that assessment? And what is it that motivates people in this day and age to join the military reserve?

LCol. Miller: In my experience we do not have to interview 250 people in order to get one soldier. I do not have the statistics with me, but I do not believe it is as bad as that.

As to what motivates my soldiers, I was in Yorkton last night inspecting the battery up there, and those soldiers want to fire the big guns; they want to do some activity that they do not get to do anywhere else. They can work in the local fast food restaurants, they can work at the local garage, and things like that, but these soldiers want to get in the field, they want to hear the guns bang, they want to run and jump in the woods and they want to serve. That is what motivates them; it is excitement and adventure.

LCol. Rutherford: This year I will recruit 66 members. In order to do so, we will probably review as many as 300 files to get that 66. From the communication reserve's point of view it is not 250 to one.

I would agree that the motivation to join the reserves is for the fun. The idea is spread by word of mouth from their fellow students, since we target mainly young students. We can provide quite challenging employment to students entering post-secondary education during the summertime and we can offer them $2,000 per year to assist with university costs.

Senator Atkins: Are you able to keep them after graduation?

LCol. Rutherford: That is a very good question. If we manage to keep them after the four-year point and they graduate, then they are in for the long haul. They can go across Canada to any one of the 23 communication reserve units and serve. If they choose a different path, then it is difficult to get them back.

Senator Atkins: How many from your units would be interested in joining the regular force? Could you comment on the paperwork and the amount of time needed for the transition to take place?

LCdr. Bell: If I may, I will address that. I regard any member of my unit who transfers to the regular force not as a loss but as a win for the entire defence team.

You are correct that there does appear to be a lot of bureaucracy involved in having members move from one component to the other. That is both ways, regular force to reserve, and reserve to regular force. It is not within my control, of course; I can only sit on the sidelines as an observer, but sometimes I pick up the phone and vent my frustration at someone at Canadian Forces Recruiting Group.

It is a problem which needs hard work to resolve.

LCol. Miller: I agree with my colleague from the navy regarding the length of time and amount of paperwork involved to move somebody from reserve to regular force. We have a case currently where it has taken two and a half years from the time the gentleman indicated an interest in moving from the regular force to the reserve for that to happen. It has been horrendous.

Senator Atkins: In your opinion is there a way to streamline the paperwork?

LCol. Miller: I am not an administrator. I am not familiar with the necessary process. What I can say, though, is that it takes far too long and there must be some way to shorten the length of time that it takes. When moving from a reserve component to a regular forces component, or vice versa, the security clearance is the same and in most cases the qualifications are the same. I cannot believe that it is not possible to speed up the process. However, I am not an expert in that area.

LCol. Rutherford: I would echo those comments. As a regular force officer, I have observed that the process for the reservists is no different from the process in the regular forces when someone off the street wishes to join the regular force.

We are stove-piping this process and making it very cumbersome and difficult for the reserve who wishes to commit to the regular force. Frequently, the time lines are far too long and we lose them.

Senator Atkins: That is interesting. The Department of National Defence and the government have announced an increase of 5,000 in the regular forces and 3,000 in the reserves. How do you react to the 3,000 additional reserves? Do you believe you have the infrastructure and facilities to accommodate them, and the capability to recruit the increase to your annual average?

LCol. Miller: Our area commander has informed us that he will stand down units in order to train the people we need; therefore, I do not have a concern that we will not be able to train the people if we get them. However, in order to recruit the 3,000 for the reserves and the 5,000 for the regular force we have to do some serious recruiting. An ongoing, vigorous, recruiting campaign must be started immediately.

Senator Atkins: Do you care to comment on how you think that should be done?

LCol. Miller: I am not an expert; that is not my area. I know that at the receiving end of the recruiting process it is too cumbersome now and it is necessary to do more.

Senator Atkins: Have you ever seen any of the advertising to recruit for the military?

LCol. Miller: I see more of it around the armouries.

Senator Atkins: Posters?

LCol. Miller: Exactly, posters and things like that. However, if somebody sees it in the armoury that person is already recruited and in uniform. Out on the street I do not see it.

Senator Atkins: Do you see it on television?

LCol. Miller: I do not see it on television, sir.

Senator Atkins: It is there. Does anyone wish to comment on what is seen on television? Is it the right message? That is the question.

LCol. Rutherford: From my point of view it appears that they are trying to appeal to the younger audience and they make sure they see the capabilities of the Canadian Armed Forces. I see these commercials on very late at night and not in prime time. Recruiting for the reserves is very regionally based. For instance, in Alberta it is a huge challenge. You have to be very competitive and have someone working on it full time in each of the units. For the regular force I imagine it will be the same.

Senator Atkins: Do you think you could fulfil a requirement to recruit a higher number of reserves, if the government proceeded with the funding and the process?

LCdr. Bell: It is probably easier for me to answer that because, as far as I know, we are not expecting to receive very much of that increase.

Senator Atkins: You are saying you think most of it will be for the army?

LCdr. Bell: I do. Could I handle an increase in the number of recruits? I think the answer is yes. My headquarters has been very supportive whenever we have been successful in recruiting. They have a system in place that moves funding from units that are not having that great a degree of success to those that are. So I am fairly confident that I will receive the funds if I have a successful recruiting year.

Senator Atkins: One last question. If you had one wish for something that you really need for your units, what would it be?

LCol. Miller: More soldiers, sir.

LCol. Wainwright: The support of every Canadian out there.

Senator Atkins: Good answer.

LCol. Rutherford: More equipment for my soldiers to train on.

LCdr. Bell: I have a two-part answer, sir. I would like more sailors, and I would wish for more Canadians to know the job that the navy does for them each and every day.

The Deputy Chairman: I thought you would have asked for some salt water.

LCdr. Bell: I can fly to that.

Senator Munson: I am intrigued by the paperwork issue that you spoke of. Colonel Wainwright said that long gone are the days of the so-called weekend warrior; he is replaced by the citizen soldiers who know they may be called upon to assist at any time. Colonel Miller said it is almost impossible to get there at a given time, in the sense that you mentioned B.C. and the forest fires and the paperwork that is involved in all of that.

It strikes me that, in the bigger picture, it is similar to the DART team trying to get to their job in Sri Lanka, which took politically a long time; and there must be paperwork involved on a bigger scale with regular soldiers.

How do you solve this problem? Is this just the one instance in British Columbia or do you think this is happening across the country, this delay from all the paperwork? What is this paperwork and how can we, as a committee, urge government and/or the departments to clear up this mess?

LCol. Miller: In B.C., two summers ago, each soldier going out there took with him about a one-inch thick file of paper. With no exaggeration, by the end of the week or two that they were there they had another inch of paper.

Senator Munson: What is it?

LCol. Miller: It is everything from insurance to next-of-kin forms and service agreements. There is just no end to it.

I was notified at 2 o'clock that I was going to B.C. and that my flight was at 6 o'clock. My regimental sergeant major met me at the airport and I had to sign my name in at least 10 different places. When I arrived in B.C., I signed in in another half a dozen places.

What I suggested at that time was to make a complete list, check off each thing that we are agreeing to and sign it in one place.

This paper war occurs with every callout that we have.

Senator Munson: Across the country?

LCol. Miller: Across the country.

LCol. Wainwright: Perhaps we are more geared up for doing the foreign deployments, where there is a lot of lead-up time, but fires move fast. In the Manitoba flood operation we had a little more time, but when things move quickly we are not structured to very quickly complete the paperwork in order to get the people out to do their jobs.

LCol. Rutherford: It is a question of streamlining the process, whether we are talking about how we pay them, how we medically clear them, or how we make sure they sign all the proper forms. Within the communication reserve we are looking at everything we can do within the units to streamline this process.

The regular forces did not have the same bureaucratic requirements that the reserves had in order to get out to the forest fires.

The Deputy Chairman: Colonel Miller, did you learn anything from your experience in British Columbia that would be of assistance if the situation arose again where you had to leave in a hurry? Surely it is possible to go and do the paperwork later?

LCol. Miller: I have already completed a lot of that paperwork for all of the soldiers in my unit and we are keeping it on their personnel file. Each September when we begin parading again we have what we call a ``sausage mill.'' We make everyone line up in front of a clerk to update that information.

In the future we hope that, if a reservist is called out, my clerk can retrieve the information from his or her personnel file and update it, but even so there is still a horrendous amount of paper. However, I am not qualified to comment regarding what is necessary and what is unnecessary in that respect.

Senator Munson: Maybe the military can learn from the private sector. When I was a reporter with a national network, they would just send you to cover a war zone. After you are there for a few days they tell you that your insurance policy has been increased to $2 million. It makes you feel a lot better. There is no paper work, you just go.

Just on a personal level to Colonel Rutherford. I have looked at your biography and although it is not part of the fact-finding mission, I am curious about what you learned from your Rwandan experience. You had tremendous responsibility.

Could you perhaps give us an executive summary of what you learned from there and how it assists you in your role as a reservist? What message would you give to other reservists?

As we heard from General Dallaire this was a very cruel place in a cruel time.

LCol. Rutherford: I will just quickly tell you that I was General Dallaire's force signals officer and I was responsible to establish communications around all of Rwanda.

In summary, what I took away from that experience, first, with regard to the capabilities that we have from a communications point of view as the Joint Signal Regiment, we went in and did a good job to support the United Nations. What I learned from that operation is that we sent Canadian soldiers into a zone, not unprepared, but certainly not well-prepared for the things they were to experience.

I do not have the exact numbers at hand, but out of a squadron of about 120 soldiers I can easily count 10 to 12 who had to leave the forces because of post-traumatic stress. The soldiers were trained to do a job, which we did. We supported the U.N.; we supported General Dallaire; but the futility, the helplessness, the way that my soldiers felt in that theatre will never leave them. It has never left me. Thankfully, I, personally, did not suffer from post-traumatic stress. Unfortunately, my driver who was with me throughout is a very troubled man today and has had to leave the forces.

Senator Munson: That is all I have, except to say thank you. We appreciate the fact that you are still in uniform.

With the government announcement that we will recruit another 3,000 reservists, you are an example of the good that can be done and can continue to be done long after active duty in places such as Rwanda. Thank you very much.

Senator Meighen: That would probably be a good note to end on, but I do have one or two questions. Each of you, I think, has spoken of the relationship with first responders in your communities. We have been told that new resources have been assigned to the reserves for liaison officers; have you seen any funding for that?

LCol. Miller: No, sir.

Senator Meighen: Anybody?

LCol. Rutherford: No, sir, not in the communication reserve.

LCdr. Bell: I think that it is primarily communication reserve and land reserve that that refers to, sir. It does not refer to the navy.

Senator Meighen: One of the inherent challenges of the reserves, of course, is that you never know how many will be there on any given day for an assignment. The Americans have a different system of employment security than we do.

What would be your individual and collective opinion of the wisdom of adopting the American strategy of putting in place statutory protection of employment, much as we do for maternity leave?

LCol. Miller: The policy used by our friends in the American forces is a two-edged sword. It will guarantee employment, but I would not like the situation to arise where a young soldier applies for a job but, because his résumé says he is a member of the reserves, his prospective employer decides not to employ him because he would have to allow him to leave for the reserves.

The present system works quite well, at least from my point of view and for the soldiers in my unit. If we used legislation to force employers to allow reservists time off, I would be afraid that it might restrict employment opportunities for reservists. That would be my concern about that, sir.

Senator Meighen: Does everybody else feel the same way, or are there any dissenters to that view?

LCol. Rutherford: I do not disagree at all. I think CFLC does a great job. In my experience I have noticed soldiers in my organization, who are employed by federal or provincial governments, having those opportunities extended to them.

From the private sector I can give you an example. I spoke to one of my majors last week in Thunder Bay, who said that his employer, a hotel owner, said that he could let him leave for a month or two, but if it was for six he would not have a job when he came back.

LCdr. Bell: I would reiterate that I think CFLC has done a tremendous job in the approximately 10 years of its existence, coming out of the former National Employer Support Committee.

Having worked closely with American forces on a number of occasions I agree with Colonel Miller that it is a double-edged sword. However, having worked as a force planner it is interesting to observe that, when you expect a formed body of personnel to show up, it all shows up and you can count on it to show up and do the job that you expect it to do.

There are some negatives, but there are some real positives, too.

Senator Meighen: Somebody commented the other day that, when the maternity leave legislation was introduced, everyone wondered how it could be made to work. It seems to be working very well. I do not hear complaints about it any more.

The Deputy Chairman: We are over time. Our difficulty, gentlemen, is that we have to set up this room for a town hall forum beginning at 6:30.

Senator Meighen: I do not know whether any of our panellists will be able to attend tonight. It is always interesting to hear the spectrum of opinion that is out there.

Gentlemen, I am heartened by the level of support for what you are all doing. It is, I think, very encouraging. Certainly, the people we have encountered in Edmonton and Calgary in the last few days have in the main been urging the government to provide greater support for our forces, in general, and for the reserves. I hope that the government will be able to do that, as I am sure you do. Whether or not the budget that has been much ballyhooed will result in funds flowing to you, we will just have to wait and see.

I urge you to encourage private citizens to speak up, because that is what governments and politicians respond to. I think recent events have perhaps heightened the consciousness of many Canadians and their understanding of the role that our forces play in our communities and around the world for the best interests of Canada.

Hopefully we are moving in the right direction and your job will become a little easier and you will have the support you really deserve. Thank you very much. I will leave it at that. I appreciate your being here.

The Deputy Chairman: We have a small presentation to make in a moment or two. For now, I would join with Senator Munson, Senator Meighen and Senator Atkins in their remarks, and I know I will be speaking for the chair, Senator Kenny, when I reaffirm that point. Often, we do not say we love you, or perhaps we do not say it often enough. We do respect the work you do, and we respect and value your commitment.

If you could, please convey this message to your men and women: it is that this afternoon we listened, and we will re- read, study and analyze very carefully what you have told us. It was very informative. We are getting a picture that is national in scope. Please convey to your troops that your work is not unnoticed. We may wish that your footprint in the community was more visible, but believe me, it is visible and it does count.

The committee adjourned.