Naval  Association  of  Canada


Association Navale du Canada 

OTTAWA BRANCH

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  • 16 Dec 2021 10:57 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    Our presenter in December was Dr. Andrea Charron, Director of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies at the University of Manitoba.  Dr, Charron spoke on the topic of NORAD modernization.    The video recording is now available at https://youtu.be/Vtf4g3qh26Q.


  • 2 Dec 2021 12:21 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

             On November 1st, 2021, the Commander of the RCN, VAdm Craig Baines, spoke virtually to NAC-Ottawa and the broader NAC membership, as well as a wide range of other interested individuals across Canada, on the current state of the Navy.  He introduced his talk by grouping the present-day challenges under the acronym “S3C”, representing: Sailors and Public Servants; Ships and Submarines; Service; and Culture.

             Under the “Sailors and Public Servants” heading, the principal challenge the Admiral sees these days is sailor recruitment, especially in light of the way that the Navy is introducing new ships to the fleet. One aspect in meeting this challenge is to make most if not all decisions through a “people” lens, where the personnel ramifications are treated first.  Another is to improve employment opportunities for reservists.

    Under “Ships and Submarines”, he noted that the AOPS, CSC and JSS projects are on track, and that the RCN has stood up a small team to lay the groundwork for a Canadian Patrol Submarine Project to replace the Victoria class submarines, which are operating from both coasts and currently about to undergo some modernization.  The new submarines will be non-nuclear-powered with technologies like air-independent propulsion being given serious consideration.  The AOPS are proving to be great ships, with HMCS Harry DeWolf having just completed the first Canadian naval North-West Passage transit since Labrador’s in 1954.  CSC is being designed with the future threat environment in mind. The leased replenishment vessel MV Asterix is under contract until 2023.

             The “Service” of the sailors of today and the near future will be crucial to meeting the military threats in a world quite different from the old bipolar Cold War situation that led to the current Navy.  In addition to land, sea and air threats, the future Navy must be able to address things like Arctic operations, cyber, information warfare and space.  A big element in the new way of perceiving and executing service at sea will be the ability to manage, exploit and maintain huge amounts of data, in support of both force protection and taking the fight to the enemy.  Interestingly, among the eight major missions tasked to the Canadian Armed Forces, six have significant Navy involvement.  The Navy expects that it will be ever more involved in Asia-Pacific diplomacy and operations; however, the Admiral sees no need to rationalize the coastal distribution of ships and submarines, as any ocean in the world is accessible from both Halifax and Esquimalt.  The deployment of Navy ships, in particular Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, to the Caribbean in conjunction with the USCG continues to be successful and productive in prosecuting the war on drugs.

             Under “Culture”, the Admiral was very forthright in addressing the present-day crisis in confidence in the Canadian Armed Forces arising from sexual misconduct allegations: a serious problem that is systemic. Significant change is required, starting with recognition of the situation.  But the Navy should actively use the crisis as an opportunity to make itself better.  The Navy can no longer take refuge in policy and process but must provide the day-to-day leadership that will engage all serving members in meeting the problem head on.

             In conclusion, VAdm Baines stated that the Navy will need to do a better job in communicating with the Canadian population, with such communication expected to be decisive if the full value of the Navy in meeting Canada’s ambitions is to be realized. 

  • 6 Oct 2021 12:30 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    Lieutenant Peter Ward is an acclaimed retired journalist, military editor, war correspondent, broadcaster, author and wine columnist who served as a Public Information Officer with the Naval Reserve Division HMCS York (1962-1978). Recipient of the Peacekeeping Medal for deployments to Cyprus and the Vietnam Decoration for seeing action as an embedded journalist and side gunner with a US Army helicopter unit, his poignant photography and objective reporting from the front lines were published in major newspapers worldwide. As one of the original five founding members of HAIDA Inc, he is being recognized inter alia for his critical role in the acquisition and the preservation of HMCS Haida, a famous Second World War Tribal-class destroyer, now a National Historical Site and the ceremonial Flagship for the Royal Canadian Navy, berthed in Hamilton, Ontario.

    At the Naval Association of Canada’s Monthly Speaker’s Evening on 4 October 2021 we were very fortunate to have this distinguished guest as our speaker. Peter regaled Naval Association members and other invited guests with his story of how he and four other colleagues developed and executed a cunning plan in 1964 to save Canada’s Ceremonial Flagship HMCS HAIDA from the scrapheap. His presentation was both touching and inspirational. Those in virtual attendance that evening included Commander RCN, Vice Admiral Craig Baines, Senator Dianne Griffin of Prince Edward Island and Mr Ron Hallman, President and CEO of Parks Canada as well as members of Peter’s family and that of WWII naval hero, Vice Admiral Harry DeWolf. There were just shy of 100 on board for a very special evening which culminated with Peter being presented the Admirals’ Medal for 2021 for his foresight and heroic efforts.

    A video of Peter's presentation is available at https://youtu.be/3-Ta9B4kYkg

  • 30 Sep 2021 17:05 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    The expansion of the Chinese Navy seems destined to upset world order. In this paper we offer some background on this increasing threat and urge Canada, like Australia, to take notice and prepare to counter it with our allies.  Dr. Jim Boutilier outlines the rise of Chinese naval power and the development of complementary capabilities, from its enormous coast guard and military fleets to its advanced anti-access/area denial systems centred on shore-based antishipping cruise and ballistic missiles. We also note that Grey-zone warfare has become a central pillar in China’s approach to its near-abroad and Dr. Ann Griffiths offers a detailed look at the philosophy underlying these tactics and the tools that Beijing is employing to achieve its objectives.  

    https://www.navalassoc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/China-NAC-Report-2021..pdf

  • 20 Sep 2021 13:08 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

     NAC-O President's Update

    September  20, 2021

    Hello from not so sunny Nova Scotia. We are enjoying the last week of a visit “Down East” and are back in Dartmouth for a few more days with the family here. Our visit to Newfoundland was most enjoyable although the ferry crossing just after the passage of one of the many hurricanes this summer was a bit lumpy. Thus far we have slept in 7 different beds - ranging from sumptuous hotel rooms and comfy Air BnBs, to family cabins and bunks on the interprovincial ferry. 

    I will keep my comments this month to branch activities and business as I know that Richard Archer will be reaching out to me shortly for a few words for the Fall Edition of SOUNDINGS. The main message is that with COVID almost beaten (I hear the curve in Ontario is beginning to flatten) he Branch Executive is starting to move on some new activities, and we need some volunteers to assist with some short- and long-term projects.  A few hours here and there would go a long way to helping our community and gaining a bit of recognition for the NAC Ottawa Branch. 

    Speakers’ Evenings/Fall Social Event

    Our 4 October Speaker’s Evening promises to be very interesting event. Our guest speaker will be Mr. Peter Ward who was one of a group of former RCN officers who took it upon themselves to save HMCS HAIDA from the scrapyard in the 1960s. As most of you know, HAIDA had a storied career in WWII and the Korean War and was recently refurbished by Parks Canada and has since become the RCN’s Ceremonial Flagship. A veteran journalist, Peter knows how to spin a yarn and I am sure his talk will be entertaining. There will also be a special thanks for Peter for the close of the evening. 

    Please note that because the Bytown Mess is still not available this will be an online event again. Speaking of the Mess, recent information provided by the PMC indicates that given the age of the building the repairs are extensive and will go on into at least the late fall. As such we have foregone the Fall Social event, normally held in late Sept, again this year and I expect that the monthly speakers’ events will continue to be held online. In November we expect to hear from Commander RCN.

    BOA Spring 2022/Fall Conference in Ottawa

    Our Branch plans for a Battle of the Atlantic Dinner in the Spring are getting underway.  Mark Watson and Ray Coutu have agreed to be Co-Chairs of the Planning Committee and will be dusting off the Coles Notes from the last dinner over the next few weeks. Plans for a Conference in the fall of 2022 are still in the formative stages.

    Potential Branch Project

    There is an opportunity for the Branch to participate in a restoration project here in Ottawa. Without letting the cat completely out of the bag, a local naval heritage site requires refurbishment, and the Branch has been asked to play a role, potentially in managing some of the financial aspects of the project. The NAC Endowment Fund may be involved. We need someone with project management skills and some free time to step forward. I think this could be done by an out of towner. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me.  

    Veterans’ House

    As I have reported in the past, things continue to progress with completion of the Andy Carswell building at the old CFB Rockcliffe site. The residence is now almost at capacity and the library to which the Branch made some donations in the spring is being well used. Discussions are underway with the management as to how the Branch could provide further assistance through donation of some suitable clothing and outerwear. Again, this could happen if someone with a vehicle and bit of free time over the next month could step forward to coordinate the collection of the clothing items and help deliver them to the residence.  

    Branch Finances/SOUNDINGS by Mail

    As a result of the lack of social (face to face) activities this year, the Branch Treasurer forecasts a small surplus in the coffers at the end of the year. That said, I want to ensure that we keep our expenses under control and stay “out of the red”, so to speak as things post COVID begin to open up. To that end we could save some money by reducing the number of paper copies of SOUNDINGS that we make available to members via Canada Post. I calculate it costs $5.32 for each of the 170 or so copies we put in the snail mail. If you are comfortable with reading SOUNDINGS online and want to do your part for the planet in reducing paper usage, please advise our Membership Director Gerry Powell at naco.membership@gmail.com and he will take your name off the mailing list.  

    Endowment Fund Candidate Submissions for 2022

    I mentioned the NAC Endowment Fund earlier. The objective of the Fund is to promote and maintain interest in naval affairs generally and in particular in the development and promotion of a capable and effective navy for Canada. This is made more specific by a Statement of Purpose, which directs that the income from the NAC Endowment Fund will be deployed to:

    • “Remember The Past” by supporting endeavours like to the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust (SACKVILLE), HMCS HAIDA, Naval and Military Museums, naval history projects, and naval monuments and other projects in keeping with the intention of remembering our Naval legacy.
    • “Support today's Navy”, by promoting an awareness of, and interest in, the requirement for Canada's Naval Forces today, including capabilities, infrastructure and people, through education, such as supporting publication of NAC periodicals and other research material of an educational nature.
    • “Build the Future”, by investing in our youth through the Navy League and Sea Cadets and The Maritime Awards Society of Canada.

    In 2021 the NAC Endowment Fund disbursed $48,000 in grants, and the NAC Endowment Fund Trustees received requests for worthwhile projects totaling more than this sum. The Spring/ Summer 2021 Edition of STARSHELL summarizes the disbursements of the NAC Endowment Fund. I encourage NAC Ottawa members to make an annual donation to the Endowment, so that over time these disbursements may increase to meet the growing demand. NAC Ottawa members are also encouraged to identify and promote suitable projects for Endowment Fund grant proposals. If NAC Ottawa Members wish to nominate suitable projects for 2022, please contact your Endowment Fund Representative, Howie Smith at (613) 286-8555 or by email at h.smith@lansdowne.com .

    Parting Salvo

    As we look towards the end of COVID, the Branch is alive and well and I anticipate that we will be able to enter a “new normal” in terms of routine, later this year.  Please consider how you may be able to help with some of the activities mentioned above and drop me an email or give me a call for some details on what’s required.

    Best Regards,

    Tim Addison

    Branch President

    timhaddison@yahoo.ca

  • 13 Apr 2021 10:23 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    Almost 80 members and friends of NAC joined in an online session to hear Mr. James Davies, President and CEO of Chantier Davie Shipbuilding speak about the shipyard's strategic Journey to 2040.  In his presentation, he noted the long history of the yard and the contributions it has made to Canada's navy and Coast Guard.  Mr Davies also spoke of its potential for the future, noting that he sees enough work for three major Canadian yards in the National Shipbuilding Strategy, and advocating that Canada could become an exporter of specialized ships.  A copy of Mr. Davie's presentation is available at https://nac-o.wildapricot.org/resources/OTTAWA%20BRANCH/Documents/Meetings/2021-04-12-ChantierDavie.pdf

  • 3 Nov 2020 08:00 | Barry Walker (Administrator)


    Our November Speaker's Evening featured RAdm Chris Sutherland, Deputy Commander of the RCN, who gave us an interesting and provocative look at the personnel challenges facing the navy and the action underway to address them.  

    Over 80 members and guests attended the online presentation, which also set the stage for follow-on presentations throughout the coming year.

  • 23 Sep 2020 15:13 | Barry Walker (Administrator)

    A video transcript of our September Speaker's Evening is now available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQPHrKUhqA4&t=18s


  • 3 May 2020 12:59 | Gerard Powell (Administrator)

    For those that had not yet seen this in other posts, some wonderful words from the Admiral in the days leading up to today that speak well as to why it remains so significant to all Canadians.

    https://www.facebook.com/RoyalCanadianNavy/videos/1193128941039219/?t=675  

    And, while we cannot gather this year as we traditionally do, they are not forgotten...

    https://www.facebook.com/RoyalCanadianNavy/videos/2946238175422043/?t=0  


  • 16 Apr 2020 12:10 | Gerard Powell (Administrator)

    Information and contact details on the newly announced Veteran's Emergency Fund to assist during the COVID-19 crisis has been posted on the COVID19 updates page at https://nac-o.wildapricot.org/sys/website/?pageId=18155 

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