Atlantic Council

NATO and Canada

Canada is a founding member and member of NATO since its foundation in 1949 and has participated in a number of operations throughout the years. The goal of the organization and its members is to contribute to security and peace around the world. In addition to participating in peacekeeping missions, Canada contributes close to 6 percent of NATO’s total budget.

Contributions

Canada played an important role in drafting Articles 2, 4, and 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. Article 2, in particular, highlights the importance of stability and free institutions and the development of economic policies to advance economic cooperation between members. The Committee of Three or the Committee on Non-Military Cooperation convened in 1956 to discuss non-military issues. The key figures were Norway’s Foreign Minister Halvard Lange, Italy’s Foreign Minister Gaetano Martino, and Canada’s Foreign Minister Lester Pearson. A number of areas of potential collaboration were discussed, and recommendations were adopted. Recommendations focused on dissemination of information, cultural cooperation, and peaceful conflict resolution and settlement.

Past Operations

The Breakup of Yugoslavia

The breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia resulted in a bloody civil war, and the United Nations and NATO undertook a number of interventions in the Balkans. The Canadian Armed Forces participated in a 78-day air campaign that was launched to destroy military infrastructure and to put an end to ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. In 1998, more than 300 aircraft and aircraft carriers were deployed in the U.K, Italy, Greece, Germany, and France as part of the efforts to create a no-fly zone and to reach a ceasefire agreement. The fleet included 40 refueling aircraft, 10 search-and-rescue aircraft, 120 land-based aircraft such as EA-6B’s, F-117s, F-16s, F-15s, and other aircraft. In 2001, NATO also launched a peacekeeping mission in the Republic of Macedonia to cease weapons from rebels. 23 Canadian troops died during missions in the Balkans.

Afghanistan

Canada also participated in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The main goal was to assist with training and help the Afghanistan National Security Forces to build their capacity. Contributing nations included Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Romania, and other countries. 158 Canadian soldiers died during the mission in Afghanistan.

The Canadian Armed Forces participated in other NATO missions, including MARITIME MONITOR, Allied Goodwill I & 2, and ANCHOR GUARD. Operation Allied Goodwill I & II was launched after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Medical advisors and humanitarian assistance experts were sent to the region as part of a large-scale relief effort. Canada participated in the operation by delivering aid. The Canadian Armed Forces also participated in Mission ANCHOR GUARD during the Gulf War and invasion of Kuwait. The goal was to protect the airspace of Turkey, which is a NATO member since 1952.

Current NATO Operations

The Canadian Armed Forces participate in operations across the globe, including South and Central America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific Region, and elsewhere. At present, Canada participates in Operation MARTILLO which aims to stop organized crime trafficking in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. The Canadian Armed Forces also participate in a number of operations across Europe, in countries such as Ukraine, Cyprus, and Iceland. Operation IGNITION, for example, is a mission in Iceland with a focus on interception and airborne surveillance. Operation REASSURANCE has been launched in Eastern and Central Europe to conduct exercises and training. Operation KOBOLD has been launched by the Canadian Armed Forces to maintain peace and security in Kosovo. Troops from 28 nations participate in the operation, including Hungary, Bulgaria, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden.

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Canadian Armed Forces

The Canadian Armed Forces or CAF consist of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Navy. Queen Elizabeth II is the Commander-in-Chief while the army itself is led by General Jonathan Vance who is the Chief of the Defense Staff.

History

The Royal Canadian Navy was created in 1910 after the British Royal Navy and Army withdrew from Halifax in 1906. The Royal Canadian Air Force was formed in 1924 under the Department of Militia. During the First World War, Canadian troops fought in decisive battles such as the Second Battle of Passchendaele, the Battle of the Somme, and the Second Battle of Ypres.

Structure

The Canadian Army consists of 4 divisions – 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Canadian Division. The 3rd Division, for example, is tasked with the mobilization and command of troops in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The 5th Division is tasked with mobilization and command in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 1 and 2 Canadian Air Division, the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing, and other units. 1 Air Division is responsible for surveillance, search and rescue services, delivery of supplies, etc. 2 Air Division is mainly tasked with technical and flight training. Operational training units include 402 Squadron, 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, 426 Transport Training Squadron.

The Royal Canadian Navy has personnel of about 13,600 people, 8 training vessels, 12 coastal defense vessels, 4 submarines, and 12 frigates. The navy consists of the Maritime Forces Pacific, Maritime Forces Atlantic, and the reserve.

Operations

Army units take part in a number of operations, including prevention and emergency response, peace support operations, search and rescue, and control and surveillance. Other operations include counter-insurgency operations, law enforcement support, and monitoring of fishing vessels. Different units of the Canadian Armed Forces also participate in NATO missions and operations in Iceland, Kosovo, Latvia, and elsewhere. The goal is to support stability and security worldwide. Army units also participate in training and assistance operations is countries such as Niger, Israel, Ukraine, and Iraq.

Benefits

Officers enjoy a number of benefits such as pension plans, paid vacations, and dental and health benefits. Paid education plans are also available for postgraduate, university, and college programs. Plans cover academic equipment, textbooks, books, tuition, and other fees.

Application Process and Salaries

To apply and pursue a career in the armed forces, there are criteria to meet, and one is being of legal age (18 years old or older). Only applicants who have successfully completed Secondaire IV or Grade 10 and are Canadian citizens qualify. There are different career options to look into, including part-time and full-time positions. The list of positions includes supply technician, pilot, aviation technician, aircraft structures technician, nursing officer, etc. Examples of reserve force positions are human resources administrator, financial services administrator, chaplain, and artillery officer.

The starting salary of entry level officers is in the range of $1,700 and $4,770 while the salary of non-commissioned staff ranges from around $2,980 to $4,380. The basic pay of Lieutenant-Generals is about $20,680, of Major Generals – about $16,100, and of Colonels – about $11,860. The basic pay of officer cadets is $1,667.

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