Vanguard Magazine

Aug/Sept 2014

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

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18 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 A Air dEvEloPMEnT On cyber security, DADD's emphasis has been on improved awareness, a form of cyber hygiene to deliver commanders with information assurance. Much like airworthiness, Lew wants air- craft operators to understand the need for precautions. "The whole concept of cyber worthiness is to promote the idea that you can't just bring electronics and plug them into your aircraft and upload maps or do email," he says. "Just as with air worthiness where you wouldn't take a screw from Canadian Tire and use it on your aircraft, you shouldn't do that electronically from a cyber worthiness point of view." His cyber role might be far removed from the one typically depicted in Hollywood, but he says the air force requirement is primarily to protect its aircraft and data transmission infrastruc- ture to ensure Canadian forces can truly operate in a contested environment. "Within the CF, we have cyber organizations within CFD and the IM Group and Shared Services Canada with respon- sibility for the IT infrastructure. So this directorate needs to focus on those areas where we can improve, from a technical standpoint and, more importantly, from an operational one, the air force in- formation security posture. Part of our role is to encourage com- manders to include cyber injects in exercises – even as simple as trying to do your job without email – because we need to be able to operate in a cyber-contested environment." Both C4ISR and cyber became areas of focus in large part be- cause of the expertise of staff within DADD. The directorate has begun developing a SATCOM exploitation strategy to ensure the air force receives the most value from its myriad space programs and a datalink strategy as it strives to enhance situational aware- ness and a common operating picture with the army and navy. It has also been involved in a number of airfield projects, including TIC3 AIR (Tactical Integrated Command, Control & Comms– Air) and the upgrade of the Canadian Air Defence Sector, part of a NORAD defence system. However, Lew admits he's only now beginning to think through the challenges around data fusion and analysis – a massive air force requirement – and EW/SIGINT. "I haven't been able to dedicate as much time to the growth areas as I would have liked but I've tried to en- trench these bigger picture concepts into the people who do the day-to-day work," he said. "I tell them when they receive requests for funding from the Division or the Wings, please give more attention to the ones that would support informa- tion protection. When we're thinking of our new systems for the NORAD air defence system, for example, think about how that could be made more robust from a cyber perspective. DADD is almost a philosophy." Part of his challenge is ensuring that philosophy permeates throughout the organization, so that as the RCAF upgrades ex- isting aircraft or introduces new capabilities such as fighter jets, maritime helicopters or unmanned systems, it has already thought about and/or developed the infrastructure to easily integrate new systems and support data interoperability, especially as greater ac- cess to wideband SATCOM opens the flood gates. "I often use the iceberg analogy: when people say they want to be able to process a certain kind of streaming video or ISR information, they only see the tip, but to do it you need the rest of the iceberg," Lew says. "I'm trying to advocate for building up capabilities evenly. TIC3 is not very sexy, but you are going to need that to connect all of these things together, to bring that picture down from the air to the ground in near-real time. That's the centre of gravity for this struggle – getting the information in near-real time." Lew is careful to emphasize that DADD does not come to the table with answers to all of these challenges. Rather, it encour- ages conversations about commonality across the communities that support different aircraft. "Dual use of assets is one of the suggestions from our strategy. A Hercules, for example, is a very large body. You could put all sorts of things on it and maintain its airworthiness; an Aurora with its larger crew might be able to perform a blend of functions onboard and via remote control from the ground. These are the kinds of discussions we hope to generate." Later this fall, Colonel Lew will step into a new posting with Director General of Aerospace Equipment Program Management responsible for radar and communication systems. While he might be giving up some of his fatherly role, the connections between the work of DADD and DGAEPM mean he will still be very much a part of those conversations. "I plan to strongly support and make sure the links are there to empowering the new DADD," he said. "Just as with air worthiness where you wouldn't take a screw from Canadian tire and use it on your aircra, you shouldn't do that electronically from a cyber worthiness point of view." CP-140M Aurora on a training mission during RIMPAC 2014. Photo: Sgt Matthew McGregor

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