Vanguard Magazine

Vanguard December2021/January2022

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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NORAD BY TROY J. BOUFFARD AND ADAM LAJEUNESSE O n August 14th, 2021, the North American defence chiefs released a joint state- ment reaffirming shared commitments to "modern- ize, improve, and better integrate the capa- bilities required for NORAD to maintain persistent awareness and understanding of potential threats to North America in the aerospace and maritime domains, to deter acts of aggression against North America, to respond to aerospace threats quickly 26 DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022 NORAD Modernization: NEXT STEPS and decisively when required, and to pro- vide maritime warning consistent with the NORAD Agreement." With the focus on emerging aerospace threats and the Arctic as a traditional avenue of approach, the bi-national strategic communication lists several priority areas in need of fiscal sup- port, including 1) situational awareness, 2) modernized command and control systems, 3) capabilities to deter and de- feat aerospace threats to North America, and 4) research, development, and inno- vation. Without doubt, such statements are meant for both foreign and domestic audiences. However, this specific state- ment likely targeted the North American readership far more than our allies and adversaries. At face value, the joint state- ment seems straightforward and logi- cal. However, 'the devil is in the details' with respect to the maritime dimension of future challenges, the changing missile threat, and the political-military realities of shared responsibility. Military Dimensions While a modernized NORAD will acquire new technological capabilities it will cer- tainly expand its scope as well – moving closer to the long sought after "all domain awareness." This will include giving sub- stance to its long-standing maritime warn- ing mission. That role was added in 2006 as part of the North American war on terror to reduce stove-piping and identify poten- tial weapons smugglers, terrorists, or crimi- Top view of the cf-18 demonstration jet Photo : Derek Heyes

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