Vanguard Magazine

Jun/Jul 2015

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

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S Space 10 JUNE/JULY 2015 by chris Thatcher The rapid introduction of an interim beyond-line-of-sight data streaming capability on the CP- 140 Aurora now deployed on Operation Impact illustrates not only the technological strength of the Royal Canadian Air Force, but also the expanding scope of Canadian space capabilities to support forces in operations across the country, including the High North, and around the globe. Over the past two years, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has introduced dedicated space resources to the watch floor of Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), provided the tools and people to support commanders in theatre, signed memoranda of understanding on space surveillance and access to the Wideband Global SATCOM constellation, and enhanced its capacity for maritime domain awareness in North America, to name just a few. As Director General Space, Brigadier-General Michel Lalumiere has responsibility for steering the CAF's space development. A fixed wing and rotary wing SAR pilot and former commander of 19 Wing in Comox who served in Afghanistan and as a special advisor to the Commander of CJOC, he has seen firsthand the swell of capability to support deployed forces. Q What is the expectation of space-based systems? We have been calling cyber and space emerging domains but we now live the responsibility in many instances of being a critical en- abler for a particular effect that is being delivered in the traditional domains – air, land, sea, and, increasingly, special forces. At the risk of overusing a cliché, more and more it is a system of systems, where every single one of the capabilities in each domain – includ- ing space – will become part of a larger system. You referenced iBLOS, which is connecting a platform to criti- cal command and control nodes at the operational and strategic level. That is not new – we've been doing that for decades through traditional communications systems such as ground repeaters that covered the required distances. But we now also have beyond- line-of-sight capability through satellite systems, and our opera- tors are starting to think of satellite communications (SATCOM) as readily available at all times, and the full gambit of SATCOM: protected military communications, wideband or tactical narrow- band communications, etc. More and more, because they know these capabilities have been or are being implemented, and they are using these capabilities, our operators expect to have readily available access. So it is the responsibility of the Joint capabilities champions – in this case, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, the Chief of Force Development and my office – to make sure these capabilities are readily available. For SATCOM capability in operations today, much of the burden is being felt at the frontline by organizations like the Information Management and Operations group. The IM group is essential to this to operate the "as is" of today. For the longer-term of Horizon's 2 and 3 [five to 15 years], DG Space is key to generating and force developing the capabilities we are going to require tomorrow. Q You stood up the Canadian Space Operations Cell in 2013. Has that changed how you support deployed forces on an operation like a Op Impact? Let me start with the domestic mission. The mandate that DG Space received was to implement and operationalize some of the Support from above: Meeting the SATCOM expectations of deployed operations

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