The Vanguard Podcast

Welcome to the Vanguard Podcast, a weekly radio show discussing news, trends, and event coverage for the Canadian Defence Industry. Vanguard is Canada’s oldest trade journal of record that provides a forum for Canada’s security and defence community, discussing strategic perspectives and overviews of government and military policy and practice, through interviews with leading practitioners and contributions from renowned experts, including representatives from industry. Intersecting strategy, technology and policy, Vanguard explores emerging trends and best practices to help enhance Canada’s holistic approach to defence and security, both domestically and internationally.
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Sep 30, 2021

We've been dealing with Covid now for over a year and a half, and a lot has changed during this time.  Work as we know it has been disrupted.  Today, many are still working from home, some companies are looking to bring employees back to the office, while some are considering a hybrid approach.

In this episode, host J. Richard Jones spoke with one executive and how they have managed during the pandemic and what their take on the future of work is going to be like.  Jean-Claude Siew is Vice President, Technology & Simulation at Bluedrop Training & Simulation.  Bluedrop is a small-medium-sized enterprise offering 100 per cent Canadian solutions.  It designs, develops, and integrates advanced training solutions including simulation products, and highly interactive courseware.  Bluedrop provides blended training solutions from classroom learning to simulated virtual environments aimed at improving safety, productivity, and efficiency to meet the demands of today’s modern armed forces.  You can visit their website at

Jean-Claude brings profound domain knowledge of training and simulation and management leadership.  He is focused on growing BTSI by bringing technology leadership and by further developing the products and services business working closely with large Aerospace and Defence OEMs.

Feb 5, 2018

Asterix completes RCN trials and CF-18s to fly until 2032 

In this episode, Asterix completes Royal Canadian Navy trials, Canada's CF-18s to fly until 2032 and Boeing Gets $6.6 Billion from the Pentagon to expand missile defense 

Show Notes: 

Canada will try to get more flying time out of its aging CF-18s with the aim to keep the jets operating for another 15 years, up to 2032.  

Some aerospace industry sources, however, question whether the 2032 retirement is set in stone since any delays in the purchase of new jets could alter that schedule. 

Asterix completes Royal Canadian Navy trials 

Davie Shipbuilding and Federal Fleet Services announced that following an intensive period of at-sea trials and testing, Asterix has been formally accepted by the Department of National Defence and has now entered full operational service with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). 

Boeing gets $6.6 billion to expand missile defense 

Boeing has received a $6.56 billion contract to continue managing the U.S. missile defense system intended to stop North Korean or Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Defense Department said. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to create a nuclear warhead and a missile that could hit the U.S. mainland, adding to the urgency of U.S. missile defense efforts. In his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump said, “North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening.”

Aug 15, 2017

In this episode, we cover the news about the return of two Halifax-class frigates from the Asia-Pacific region, National Peacekeepers Day and the 9th annual Military Police National Motorcycle Relay is on the way.

Show Notes:

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Winnipeg and Ottawa returned recently to Canada after a five-month deployment in the Asia-Pacific on POSEIDON CUTLASS 17.

POSEIDON CUTLASS 17 provided an opportunity for over 430 personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces to engage in numerous exercises with regional partner navies, like the Royal Australian Navy, the Chilean Navy, the French Navy, the Indian Navy, and the United States Navy, to name a few. These exercises were done at sea but the RCN also took part in key events and engagements in 14 different ports across 10 countries during its deployment.

This type of deployment helps in providing options for the Government of Canada, in the event a Canadian response is needed in the region; as was the case last year when the HMCS Vancouver provided relief after the earthquake in New Zealand.

Participation in exercises of this nature delivers valuable training and improved interoperability, while advancing the readiness of personnel. 

“Through their impressive and professional efforts, they have reinforced Canada’s commitment to our regional friends and partners as we strengthen our mutual understanding and interoperability to ensure our collective success in the future,” said Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

The deployment showcases Canada’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific region as outlined in Canada’s new defence policy, Strong Secure Engaged.

National Peacekeepers' Day

Since its establishment in 2008, National Peacekeepers' Day has provided an opportunity for Canadians to express their gratitude and respect to those who serve in international peace and security operations.

For the past 60 years, more than 125,000 Canadian personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police forces, as well as Canadian diplomats and civilians have served as peacekeepers around the world.

The greatest single loss of Canadian lives on a peacekeeping mission occurred on August 9, 1974. On that fatal day, all nine Canadian personnel on a United Nations-marked Canadian

transport aircraft were killed when their plane was shot down by Syrian missiles. In recognition of this loss, August 9 was designated as National Peacekeepers' Day.

Since 1948, 122 Canadian peacekeepers gave their lives in service of peace.

The Military Police National Motorcycle Relay

The 9th annual Military Police National Motorcycle Relay (MPNMR) began on July 30th in Victoria, British Columbia, where participants will ride across Canada to raise funds for visually impaired children.

This relay is the world’s longest annual motorcycle relay with a distance of more than 10, 000 kilometres from coast to coast. Stops will be made at Canadian Armed Forces establishments and points of interest along the way.

It is expected that a total of 300 riders will participate, each driving a leg of the relay (some for a day, some for a province and some from coast to coast) as the Relay makes its way across the country to arrive St. John’s, Newfoundland, on August 23.

With what started out initially years ago for Military Police motorcycle enthusiasts, the Relay is now open to anyone (military or civilian) who wishes to ride. Since its start in 2009, the Relay has raised more than $480 000 on behalf of the Military Police Fund for Blind Children and other charities. 

If you are interested in participating or even to take a look at the route, please go to

Oct 4, 2016

Vanguard Radio reports on the military ombudsman’s call for an end to the delay of benefits for medically discharging CAF members. And, the head of Canada’s Communication Security Establishment sounds the alarm on a ticking time bomb called quantum computing.


Last month Gen Jonathan Vance provided the public an update on Operation Honour, the CAF’s military campaign against sexual misconduct in the military.

At that time, the CDS said the campaign was off to a good start but also warned that there awas lots of work ahead.

Last week, those tasked with carrying out Operation Honour received much needed help with the launch of The Sexual Offence Response Team.

The new 18-member team will help identify, investigate and help prosecute CAF and DND members responsible for criminal sexual offences.

The Sexual Offence Response Team are dispersed in three-member teams at the six Canadian Forces National Investigation Service’s regional offices located in Victoria, Edmonton, Borden, Ottawa, Valcartier, and Halifax.

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is a unit within the independent Canadian Forces Military Police Group.

Frontline Military Police remains a key part of the investigative process as they are often the first point of contact for complainants in reporting any offence. 


Several weeKs ago, Vanguard covered the release of a report from the military ombudsman’s detailing the procedural red tape that delays the benefits and medical services that many medically discharged CAF members need.

The report by Gary Walbourne, the DND and CAF ombudsman, was written back in May but only made public in September.

In it he said the voluminous documents and requirements and administrative procedures that ill and injured CAF members need to navigate through illustrate that the current system is broken.

Last week, the Ombudsman produced another report.

Plainly titled Simplifying the service delivery model for medically releasing members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the document provides a more detailed account of the changes that Walbourne’s office is recommending.

Once more, the Ombudsman also decried the complex procedures which CAF members and their families had to deal with.

For example, medically discharging CAF members had to discuss their cases and produce documentation for three distinct offices – the CAF Veterans Affairs and the Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP).

This meant they had deal with three separate case managers, file 21 separate applications, and navigate three different processes with different timelines.

Among the recommendation of the Ombudsman were:

  • The retention of ill or injured CAF members until all benefits and services from CAF, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)and Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) are put in place.
  • The establishment of a transition concierge service to act as a single point of contact for members and their families. (The UK and U.S. provide this service).
  • The development of a secure web portal (already done by VAC, but not DND and SISIP) single point of entry for all matters related to the transition from CAF to civilian life.

“Far too many members are medically released from the military before they learn what medical or financial support, if any, they will receive,” said Walbourne.


Quantum computing is a much vaunted revolutionary way of computing which promises to help organizations solve complex problems more than a thousand times faster that they could with the fastest computers available today.

Researchers, technology experts and leaders of various sectors believe quantum computing will help accelerate innovation, cut down cost of production and more.

However, quantum computing could also usher in a new age of cyber insecurity where even the strongest data and network protection tools and techniques could be easily bypassed by hackers.

Greta Bossenmaier, head of the Canada’s Communication Security Establishment, warned that within a mere 10 years or by 2026 quantum computing will have the ability to break down even the toughest encryption method we use today.

This has a tremendous impact on how governments, militaries and businesses protect their networks since much of the world’s industries, businesses and utilities are tied to power grids and connected to the Internet.

The CSE fears that an attack on one system could create a cascading effect that would topple other systems connected to the initial target.

The CSE and other similar agencies around the world are now working to develop a new encryption standard before Y2Q – or year to quantum arrives.

“The clock has started to tick. So, unless we collectively get ahead of the quantum challenge and rethink encryption, the systems, and information of companies, governments, of organizations, of citizens – potentially every Canadian citizen – could be vulnerable,” she said.


That’s it for this week’s Vanguard Radio.

Thank you very much again for tuning into our show.

If you would like read more about our stories today, please head over to

I know not a few of you have your own thoughts about the developments we reported on.

You can always leave your comments and thoughts on the comment section of each story, tweet them to us, or share them on our Facebook page.

Until then, this is your host Nestor Arellano, saying see you again next week On Vanguard Radio.

Sep 20, 2016

The Maritimes become host to one of the worlds largest naval exercise,

the public safety minister shoots down a potentially troublesome firearms classification directive by his predecessor,
and CAE bags some $10 million in defence contracts.
This are the stories we’ll discuss on this episode of the Vanguard Podcast.
But first the latest from Operation Honour….

You’ll probably remember near the end of August that the CDS, provided an update on Operation Honour.
That’s the CAF’s campaign launch in 2015 in response to an investigation by Retired Justice Deschamp
On sexual misconduct in the military.
Justice Deschamp found “sexualized culture” within the armed forces
And an edemic sexual culture condoned by the military leadership
While Gen. Jonathan Vance reported last month, that 30 CAF members have been punished
and 97 more investigations were being carried out
He also warned people not to there would be no quick fixes.
It seems the armed forces is getting down to cleaning up its ranks.
Last week, it reported that two military personnel were facing sexual assault charges
One of them is a Master Seaman who is being charged for allegedly sexually assaulting
Another member of the HMCS Athabascan while the vessel in Nov of 20015.
The other, is a sergeant in the Military Police Unit based in Halifax.
The charged military personnel were identified in the released report although there were very little details accompanying the release.
But still, I think this is a step in the right direction and sends the signal that the CAF is serious about Operation Honour
and taking steps to be more transparent.
We look forward to learning from the military as well what is happening to these charges and cases
As they move along the military justice system

Simulation and training company CAE has several updates that they were happy to share as well.
The company, which has regional operations in Canada,
reported that it recently won in excess of $120 million in defence contracts.
Topping the list was an agreement to provide
aircrew training services and courseware development program
for the US the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones.
Other notable contracts include:
Contract options on the MH-60 Tech Refresh and Procurement Simulators Program
And a contract to upgrade the Australian Armed Forces
Of their CAE GESI command and staff training system

The Royal Canadian Navy is leading a fleet of 11 ships
and approximately 25 aircraft from Canada, France, Spain, the United Kingdom,
and the United States in anti-submarine warfare drills
Cutlass Fury 16 takes place in and around the Maritime Operating Areas
off the coasts of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John’s, Newfoundland, from September 12 to 26.
Cutlass Fury 16 brings together 3000 participants from five partner nations
and includes 11 surface ships, 3 submarines, and approximately 25 aircraft.

Former public safety minister Steven Blaney
Must have thought a directive he made to the RCMP was locked and loaded.
But Ralph Goodale, the current Liberal minister of public safety, stepped in to shoot it down.

In the waning days of the Conservative government, Blaney issued a directive
To RCMP Commissioner Bob Polson
Blaney gave the RCMP 180 days to evaluate, classify
and issue a Firearms Refernce Table (FRT)
for a certain firearm model so that that model could be imported into Canada.
Blaney then issued a press release
Announcing that he had overturned the RCMP’s earlier decision to classify as prohibited firearms.

The CEska Zbrojoyka CZ-858 rifle and some firearms from Swiss Arms.
Upon assuming office, earlier this year, Goodale discovered the directive and had them rescinded.

His reasons:
Bad time – the directive was issued just days before the federal elections
An arbitrary time line was imposed
And the directive could lead to misclassification of firearms
Which could put the public in danger, said Goodale.
This issue is important
Because it touches on the critical matter of gun control in Canada
And who can classify which firearms as restricted and non-restricted.


Sep 14, 2016

It's the new management methodology being used by the Liberal government, and if you work for the government, or are doing business with the government, you need to brush up on deliverology!

Here's your chance to learn the in's and out's of deliverology.

Also in this week's program, we congratulate 8 scholars of the Wounded Warriors of Canada Scholarship Program.

Check out our tips and advice for Canadian defence businesses seekig to expand overseas markets or do business in the U.S.

Aug 31, 2016

The latest edition of the Vanguard Magazine is finally out. In it, readers will find an exclusive interview with Chief of Defence Staff Gen Jonathan Vance. The CDS opens up on the CAF’s controversial Operation Honour and his assessments of how well the armed forces is the protecting rights of individual soldiers and.
Also in this podcast, we discuss the implications of an resolution by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) to seek access to peoples’ smartphone passwords in the course of their investigation.

Jul 18, 2016

Honour the fallen, help the living

In the show today, we talk about Wounded Warriors and some of their programs that are being used to assist those who have been injured in the line of duty. Joining us to talk more about this is Astrid Neuland of Thales Canada. Astrid is also serving as VP Marketing & Affiliations for Women in Defence and Security and a strong supporter of Wounded Warriors.

We discus the work being done by Wounded Warrior, not only for wounded service men and women, but for those who have served as first responders as well. Finally they talk about how people can get involved and support Wounded Warriors through donating to the upcoming Wounded Warriors Highway of Heroes Bike Ride taking place September 24th and 25th.

For more information or to make a donation please visit: or,

Jul 14, 2016

In this episode of the Vanguard Podcast - A NATO report released before the military alliance's summit in Warsaw reveals that Canada lags behind other nation members in terms of defence expenditures.

However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces the deployment of Canadian troops at the very doorstep of Russia to act as a buffer against Kremlins recent aggressive stance.

It's back to drawing board for Liberals on the CF-18 replacement program and the latest edition of Vanguard Magazine is now available.

Jun 20, 2016

This week we interview Billie Flynn, a former Canadian Air Force Squadron Commander, with an impressive list of flight experience and combat experience throughout the globe.


Nestor Arellano discusses with him the pros and cons of the new F-35 and why it may just be a better "dog-fight" jet than most are making it out to be.

Jun 13, 2016

This week, Nestor covers the recent comments by Harjit Sajjan on the need for replacement fighter jets.

He also discovers the collaboration of Magellan Aerospace and Atlas Elektronik to create the SeaSpider. An underwater warfare weapon that's best described as an anti-torpedo torpedo. 

And BlackBerry has scored a contract extension to the Pentagon, with BlackBerry's AtHoc PFPA network, used to safeguard the Pentagon building and 69 other buildings in the area. With upgrades to the system, BlackBerry's AtHoc solution should help to solve all networking issues the Pentagon had previously complained about.

May 16, 2016

Vanguard visits the new IMPACT Centre of Lockheed Martin Canada in Kanata. This facility will spearhead the company’s latest research work on projects such as the Canadian Surface Combatant programme.

Terri Pavelic, editor of Vanguard, speaks with Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice-president of Lockheed Martin Canada’s MST business area, to find out more about the new facility.

May 9, 2016

The Canadian Armed Forces sends aircraft, equipment and personnel to help first responders and residents devastated by the wildfires that have engulfed a large swath of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The Auditor General’s Office has released two scathing reports that detail serious problems involving the Veterans Affairs of Canada’s handling of drug benefits for former soldiers and gross mismanagement of training and equipping Canada’s Army Reserve force.

Mar 16, 2016

C4ISR event, Game Changers and armed drones – Episode 16

In this week’s episode of the Vanguard Podcast, John Jones, publisher of Vanguard, tells us why the upcoming C4ISR event on April 20th is the place to be!

Nestor Arellano, also talks about Vanguard’s latest series the Game Changers.

We also cover the opening of the ADGA simulation lab in Kingston, Ontario and discuss the implications of chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance’s call for armed drones.

For more information on the C4ISR event:

Feb 17, 2016

In this week’s episode of the Vanguard Podcast, we talk about successful airstrikes against ISIS positions, NATO’s war against refugee smugglers in the Aegean Sea, and our video interview series beginning with an exclusive one-on-one with Pat Finn, assistant deputy minister, materiel at DND.

Find out about the latest Conference of Defence Association (CDA) Institute conference in Ottawa and the ConvergX conference recently held in Calgary.

Here are the links from today’s show:
CF-18s Hit ISIS Weapons Cache:…eapons-cache/
Canadian Vessel Part of NATO Warships Sent to Combat Migrant…nt-smuggling/
NSP Program Criticized Analysts Industry Insiders:…try-insiders/
National Security Strategies Tackled at CDA Event:…at-cda-event/
Defence Aerospace Energy Industry Lines Disappear at Convergx…nvergx-event/

Feb 10, 2016

I this issue of the Vanguard Podcast, we talk about the government’s sudden shift in strategy in its battle against ISIS.
Prime Minister Trudeau is putting an end to airstrikes against the terrorist group and pulling the Air Force’s CF-18s out of Iraq and Syria.

Meanwhile, the Canadian aerospace industry is very glad over the lifting of sanctions in Iran. This could mean more import opportunities for Canadian businesses in the industry.

Checkout our podcast to find out about these articles and other issues now.

Canada to pull out CF-18 fighter jets in Syria, Iraq…n-syria-iraq/