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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Jun 19, 2017

For the show today, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about the announcement by the Defence Minister to increase capabilities for cybersecurity, also, NATO has made a request for Canada to send police trainers to Afghanistan and we will close with our latest Game Changers. 

This show is brought to you by Gap Wireless. Gap Wireless provides UAV Hardware and Software solutions for inspection, survey and mapping and public safety. Learn more at


Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said that the Canadian Armed Forces will be looking to increase training so as to deal with cyberattacks, also it plans to recruit more cyber specialists.

The minister said, "The use of cyber technology in a military context is growing steadily and as such Canada must leverage that technology to maintain a military advantage. Our forces need to be equipped with the ability to detect, organize and identify cyber threats and be prepared to take appropriate action."

The new defence policy which was announced on June 7, outlines the plan to be Strong, Secure, Engaged by increasing the size of the military, modernizing the submarine fleet, and replacing the CF-18 fleet along with other procurements.


NATO’s request


Canada is considering a NATO request to send police trainers to Afghanistan according to the Defence Minister. This comes three years after the military mission officially ended.

The request came from the U.S. through NATO, and could involve either civilian police trainers like the RCMP, or military trainers working with Afghan police, a defence official said according to CTV news.

The minister said that "We are actually still committed to Afghanistan. We've provided the funding, whether it's for development" or salaries for security forces in the country.

From 2014 to 2017, Canada committed $227 million in international development programs in Afghanistan, and $330 million from 2015 to 2018 in support for the Afghan National Security Forces, which include the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police.

Over the 12-year mission, 158 Canadian troops were killed, as well as a diplomat, a journalist and two civilian contractors, according to a tally by The Canadian Press.

Game Changers for June/July issue

We are in the process of finalizing the June/July issue of Vanguard which will feature an exclusive interview with the Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, Jeffery Hutchinson. In this issue, you can read about his top challenges, his focus and vision for the Coast Guard and the most pressing needs with regards to procurement.

Also, we are excited to announce the Game Changers for this issue: Barney Bangs, President of Tulmar Safety Systems Inc.; Mohsen Mohammadi, Assistant Professor and Director for the new Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence at the University of New Brunswick; and Colin Stephenson, Executive Director, DEFSEC Atlantic.

Thanks for listening.

Jun 8, 2017

CSC cost, benefits to Canadians and another delay

In the show today, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about another delay in RFP submission for the CSC program, the cost versus benefits to Canadians for CSC and the possible extension of the Canadian Forces operation in the Middle East.

Show Notes:


The Government of Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. are extending the submission deadline for the Canadian Surface Combatant Request for Proposals (RFP). 

The deadline for RFPs was previously scheduled for June 22, but now that has been extended to be no sooner than mid-August 2017.

Cost of CSC 

A recent report Value for Canada: The cost versus benefit to Canadians of the National Shipbuilding Strategy examines the benefits to Canada on an economic and fiscal level and its impact on the creation of jobs, the GDP and public finances.

The report also focuses on the cost of building these ships locally and overseas.

Both the Build in Canada and Build in Europe scenarios were measured by the Benefit-Cost-Ratio (BCR) which is a cost-benefit analysis that gives the best way to assess the value for money to Canada according to the report. The potential economic benefits of building the CSC fleet in Canada and the expected difference in cost to do so overseas were considered.

The report also provided details on the costs that were measured like production, ship design, integration and modification, and extra costs to build the lead ship. The report excluded costs of administering the NSS, initial on-board spares and full lifecycle costs.

Learn more about the report

Operation in the Middle East

The commander of the Canadian Forces mission in Iraq and Syria, Brig.-Gen. Dan MacIsaac says he expects the government to extend the operation past its scheduled expiry date at the end of the month.

He said he is looking forward to seeing a renewed commitment of more than 800 military personnel as part of the long-awaited defence policy review.

The government has not formally announced an extension of the mission, which is Canada’s contribution to the international coalition of more than 60 countries that is trying to degrade ISIS.

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Jun 2, 2017

In this show, you’ll hear from Lee Obst, President and Managing Director at Rockwell Collins Canada. Terri Pavelic, Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard spoke with Lee a few days ago during their open house event in Ottawa.

Rockwell Collins is multinational company headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa providing avionics and information technology systems and services to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers. Seen as a leader in aviation and high-integrity solutions for commercial and military customers around the world, Rockwell Collins provides flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, cabin interiors, information management, mission communications, and simulation and training products and services.

May 24, 2017

Tax exemption for those serving on overseas missions, the military exercise Maple Resolve and the announcement of defence deals with Saudi Arabia that has caused shares to jump for some defence giants. All on this episode of Vanguard Radio.

Show Notes:

Tax exemption

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said late last week that the salaries of Canadian soldiers and police officers serving on overseas missions will no longer be federally taxed.

This tax exemption is retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year and will cover 1,450 personnel who are currently serving on international operations.

Maple Resolve

Almost 5,000 military personnel are at CFB Wainwright in Alberta, taking part in the largest and most comprehensive military exercise of the year - Exercise Maple Resolve. Of this number, 4,000 are Canadians and the other 1,000 are soldiers from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Britain, training together in a fully immersive force-on-force battle scenario. Among the troops are hundreds of actors there to add friction to the war games.

The aim of this exercise is to help the military practice their skills in an environment that is as realistic as possible for when they are deployed.

Training centre commander Col. Peter Scott said the online news was used to help sway the opinions of the local population and is something that “commanders have to take into account in all of their planning going into any operations. I think the only thing that is missing is that there are not real bullets flying. We’ve created an environment that is as close as possible to what they will face on any given deployment.”

When the exercise is over, the entire group will sit down and look at what went right and what went wrong so soldiers can learn from their successes and failures.

Shares in defence giants rose 

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing shares rose on Monday, after a weekend of deals between US companies and Saudi Arabia. This came after President Trump’s first visit to Saudi Arabia, where a $110bn arms package was announced. 

Lockheed Martin signed a $6bn deal to assemble 150 Blackhawk helicopters with the potential of future orders.

Raytheon also inked agreements for local defence contracts. Boeing has secured aircraft and helicopter contracts, announcing on Sunday that it has agreed to a potential sale of 16 wide-body commercial aircraft to a Saudi airline.

Thanks for listening.




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May 17, 2017

AI to model brains and Commissioner Hutchinson’s vision of the Coast Guard


In this episode of Vanguard Radio, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about the delay in Canada’s new defence policy, also he touches on a new military research program that aims to model artificially intelligent systems after the brains of living creatures and shares a snippet of an interview that he did with Commissioner Hutchinson of the Canadian Coast Guard.


Show Notes:


New defence policy


Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that the new defence policy which was expected this week would be released on June 7.


This will be after the Prime Minister attends a meeting with other NATO leaders in Brussels on May 25.


This week the Defence Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister will hold scheduled talks in Washington with the Trump administration. This move has infuriated many from the opposition including Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose who said, “I know the chamber has not seen it, members of Parliament have not seen it, and the military has not seen it.”


“Why do Washington insiders get privileged access to Canadian defence policies before the Canadian public does and before the Canadian military does?” she said in question period.


Currently, Canada spends less than one per cent of GDP on defence, which is way below NATO’s target of two per cent. So, it will be interesting to see what the increase will be like when new defence policy is released on June 7th.


AI to model brains


A new military research program in the US aiming to model artificially intelligent systems after the brains of living creatures. The reason - biological systems don't completely freeze up when they encounter a new situation, but computers often do.


When an organism encounters a new environment or situation, it relies on past experience to help it make a decision. Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, relies on data, and if it hasn’t encountered a specific situation before or don’t have the date then it can’t select the next step.


The program named the Defense Advanced Research Projects Activity is searching for technology that constantly updates its decision-making framework to merge experience and new “lessons learned” to situations it encounters instead to what is being done today, that is to retrain the machine learning’s system with new relevant data sets relevant to manage the situation, by erasing the previous programming in favor of the new data. 



Interview with Commissioner Hutchinson


Snippet of an interview with the Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, Jeffery Hutchinson on his focus and vision of the Canadian Coast Guard and as compared to that of his predecessor.


May 10, 2017

In this show, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about the call by the Senate’s defence committee to scrap the purchase of Boeing Super Hornets, also he touches on the grilling of Defence Minister Sajjan and developing the super soldier. 

Show Notes:

The Senate's defence committee is recommending that the Trudeau government forget about buying an interim fleet of Boeing’s Super Hornet fighters and instead look at replacing the entire fleet of CF-18s.

The Senate committee said that the interim Super Hornet purchase would hinder more than help. They are urging the federal government to hold a quick competition to pick a permanent solution for Canada’s next fighter plane and make a decision by end of June, 2018.

A few weeks ago, the same committee released another report which reveals that our current defence spending is at an historic low — at around 0.88 per cent of gross domestic product. The committee recommends that the federal government lay out a plan to increase spending to two per cent of GDP over an 11-year period.

This report is not binding on the federal government and in the past, the previous administrations have ignored what Senate committees say. But, given what is going on currently in the political realm, with the Trump administration really pushing allies on defence spending, we can see what the Senate committee is recommending may push the federal government to increase defence spending.


The minister and his fellow Liberal MPs are trying to shift the conversation and by blaming the conservatives of inconsistent investment in defence over the years.

MPs on the other hand are trying to make the case that he should no longer serve as Defence Minister. The motion says, “the House has lost confidence in the Minister of National Defence’s ability to carry out his responsibilities on behalf of the Government since, on multiple occasions the Minister misrepresented his military service and provided misleading information to the House.”

A vote on the matter is expected anytime soon and it looks like Liberal majority in the Commons will vote for the motion to not pass.


In the battlefield, maintaining a competitive advantage not only requires sound military strategy and weaponry, but also a consistently high degree of performance by soldiers, operating in multi-dimensional roles.

To get to the level of super soldiers, military leaders and defence experts are looking to enhance the critical, social, cultural and ethical skills and knowledge of soldiers to improve overall military performance.

This subject will be addressed at the twelfth annual Kingston Conference on International Security (KCIS).

The two-day event has six panels that will delve into overcoming human limitations, emerging technologies to successfully accelerate the physical limits of troops, processing and analyzing information for optimal decision making in operational environments.

The panels on the second day will include increasing social, cultural, and gender-based awareness, the multiple dimensions of resilience and how we should approach military performance enhancement.

This event will take place from June 12 to 14 in Kingston, Ontario. If you would like to know more, please go here

May 5, 2017

The major challenges of body-worn cameras

In this episode, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about body-worn camera technology and the benefits and challenges of it. Also, he shares the latest Vanguard's game changers that will be published in the Apr/May issue.


Body-worn Cameras

Over the recent months and years, we have seen incidents of the use of force by law enforcement officers triggering a public outcry and civil rights concerns.

Many police services have started experimenting with body-worn cameras to help protect their officers while having a record of their interactions with the public.

But this according to an article written by Valarie Findlay there is uncertainty about how much body-worn cameras will help with officers' interactions with the public — and whether it will improve the behaviours of both the public and police officers in all situations?

Recently Ottawa Police Services announced they will be launching a body-worn camera pilot project to test the effectiveness of this technology.

But the question to ask is: Are Canadian law enforcement organizations — and the public — ready for the challenges that come with the technology? 

To get the answer we need to take a look at the early body-worn camera programs, such as the one with Devon and Cornwall Police (UK). The focus was on getting evidence and preserving victim first-disclosure. Also, to reduce public complaints and inappropriate behaviours while being a tool to reduce the use of force. 

In the U.S., for example, the demand for body-worn cameras and rapid adoption have ramped up as a result of increased racial conflicts and race-related shootings in interactions with police. In in the U.S. in 2013, about 95 per cent of the 17,500 state and local law enforcement agencies were either committed to body cameras or had completed their implementation. That's a high percentage.

Many of these pilot programs have produced data indicating high success rates, but what does the research say?  Studies showed that body-worn cameras did improve complaints and interactions, but further examination of the data revealed that some officers wore cameras only half of the time, on the positive side, complaints were resolved quickly due to the accessibility of video evidence. 

As the acceptance of this technology by the public and by officers grows, there are concerns over privacy.

Privacy and the cost to implement and sustain this program are the main challenges that the body-worn camera project faces.

For Canadian law enforcement organizations, they are in a good position to glean lessons learned in the U.S. and the U.K. before implementing and by then the cost of this technology and deployment will hopefully be more affordable to warrant implementation.

Vanguard's Game Changers

·         Len Anderson, CEO of Renaissance Repair and Supply and Terra Nova Eng

·         Philippe Dupuis, President of Precision 3D

·         Duane Barry, VP of Business Development and acting Managing Director of QinetiQ Canada


For the full interviews, go to and click on the Game Changers tab.

Apr 5, 2017

The government hast just extended the CAF's anti-ISIS operations. But that's not the only change that's worth reporting about the military's mission in Iraq.

Also, a team of former and current military experts are recommending an overhaul of the Royal Military College of Canada's training module.

New collaborations and contracts are reported by defence industry firms Airbus, SITA, Mannarino Systems & Software, Lockheed Martin, Field Aviation and CAE.




Mar 20, 2017

That’s right, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with its 28 independent member countries across North America and Europe, represents several procurement contract opportunities worth several billion dollars for Canadian defence companies.

And NITEC17, the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) agency industry conference, is bringing more than 600 high-level defence experts from across the allied militaries, industry and academia to Ottawa for a three-day conference from April the 24th to the 26th.

The theme of this year’s event is Sharpening NATO’s Technological Edge: Adaptive Partnerships and the Innovative Power of Alliance Industry.

Vanguard Radio recently spoke with Peter Scaruppe, director of acquisition for NCI,and during our brief interview outlined some of NATOs procurement needs and its current focus on building its cyber capabilities.

Hear more of what Scaruppe had to say in our podcast…

“NITEC17 will be of interest to the Canadian security and defence industry because it will inform them on what are the future contracting opportunities in the pipeline over the next one to three years within NATO,” according to Scaruppe. “The conference will help Canadian industry understand the NATO system better – how we do acquisition, which technologies are in demand with NATO, and how to successfully take part in the procurement process.”

Podcast time stamp:

00:55 – The role of the NCI director of acquisition

01:53 – NATO’s $4.2 billion procurement programs

02:13 – Why NITEC17 is important for Canadian companies

04:46 – What are the potential contract opportunities within NATO

07:25 – 10 upcoming main competitions

08:39 – NATO’s IT procurement needs

09: 18 – Focus on Infrastructure as a Service

10: 38 – Featured speakers and business and networking opportunities

13:19 – Advice on how to make the most out of NITEC17

To find out more about NITEC17 and to register, click on this link

Mar 7, 2017
I this episode of the Vanguard Podcast, Marcello Sukhdeo, managing editor of Vanguard Magazine, reports on the latest marine technologies and best practices discussed during our recently concluded Horizon 2025 - Technologies of the Future event in Ottawa.
The Canadian Armed Forces release its first ever doctrine which spells out how officers and personnel should handle child soldiers.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson expresses his force's frustration with the shoddy IT services provided by Shared Services Canada.
Feb 13, 2017

In this episode of Vanguard Radio:

  • The U.S. Department of National Defence says it is looking into the possibility of renting out a space at the Trump Tower
  • Harjit Sajjan meets his American counterpart
  • L3 proposes is Spydr II aircraft for the CAF’s MAISR program
  • Black soldiers in the Canadian military are honoured.


Feb 9, 2017

In this episode of Vanguard Radio, we cover the latest C4ISR and Beyond 2017 conference in Ottawa, an upcoming competition, between Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and Boeing’s Super Hornet, the promotion of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s first ever female second in command, and the Ranger’s unique snowmobile expedition.


Show Links:

Jan 18, 2017

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re likely well aware that cybersecurity and state-sponsored hacking a really major nice topics these days.

One only needs to dial in on the social media chatter from U.S. about its intelligence community

and their recent briefing on Russian hacking operations in the U.S. to president elect Donald Trump and his strong reactions to what he had to say

To gauge the how much cybersecurity has entered the public discussion.

Here in Canada, we just found out that our government systems as not as secure as we would want to believe. Checkout the vanguard article: Government computer networks can’t standup to cyberattacks: Report Documents from Public Safety Canada indicate that the country is a prime target for cybercrime, state-sponsored cyberattacks, and lone wolf-type hackers. Consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers prepared for the federal public safety and emergency organization by which revealed that Canada’s federal information technology systems are ill-equipped to handle potential cyberattacks.

Today, we have with us French Caldwell, chief evangelist of governance, risk and compliance company Metric Stream to discuss with us what this could mean to the government and the military and defence establishment as well as companies doing business with them.


We hope you enjoyed and found a lot of useful information from our interview with French Caldwell.

This is your host Nestor Arellano

Saying see you again on the next episode of Vanguard Radio.

Jan 9, 2017
Future technology that will disrupt the defence industry
In our first Vanguard Radio show for 2017, we look at some of the technology that will influence modern warfare in the 21st-century. 
Vanguard also takes a sneak peek into the double life of a Canadian information warfare naval officer.
We weigh the pros and cons of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's defence policy-by-Twitter.
And we search for meaning in the death of a Canadian veteran suffering from PTSD.
Dec 12, 2016

Canadian sailors seize 2 tons of cocaine in a joint anti-drug trafficking operation in the Pacific Coast of Central America, a Canadian pilot perishes in crash in Cold Lake and L 3 partners with Boeing on the Super Hornet Program.

These are the stories we’ll talk about on this edition of the Vanguard Radio.

But first, CAF faces a class action suit….


Former Royal Canadian Navy member Nicola Peffer is on a mission. She’s seeking to change the culture of sexual harassment and abuse in the military.

And she’s filing a class action suit against the CAF, which the lawyer representing her believes will embolden hundreds of other former and current military members who suffered sexual harassment and abuse to join.

The 34-year-old former sailor served onboard frigates in Esquimalt near Victoria B.C.

She left the force in 2012, after the military rejected her complaints of unwanted sexual advances by her superior.

Peffer said she faced retaliation and professional repercussions after refusing to comply with the sexual demands of one of her superiors.

“When I arrived, I learned the culture was not one of camaraderie, at least for women or LGBTQ members,” Peffer said in a phone interview. “The culture was one of fear and intimidation. The culture was one of abuse, discrimination, bullying, and harassment. The culture was of sexual assault.”

Her allegations have yet to be proven in court. DND said it is aware of the planned legal action and is reviewing its options.

This is only the second class action suit linked to sexual misconduct in the military.

Last month, Glynis Rogers, a former CAF member from Nova Scotia, filed a statement of claim against Ottawa before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

She claims she was subjected to sexual orientation-based discrimination, bullying and harassment during training and during her time as a regular member of the armed forces.

Rogers, who joined the service in 2006, said that female CAF members were often called names and treated as inferior members of the military.

If the case proceeds, it could include other women who claim to have suffered similar treatment in the military.


Peffer and Rogers’ statement of claims underscore a 2015 StatsCan survey which indicates that 960 members of the were victims assault involving fellow military members in the workplace.

More than 43,000 responses were collected representing 53 per cent of the CAF population. The survey was only released this November.

Unwanted sexual touching was the most common form of sexual assault, reported by 1.5 per cent (or 840) regular force members.

79 per cent members of the regular forces saw, heard, or were personally targeted by sexualized behaviour in the military workplace or involving military members, DND employees, or contractors.

Women in the regular force were more likely than men to be sexually assaulted (4.8 per cent versus 1.2 per cent) in the twelve months preceding the survey.

Some of these incidents occurred even after the CDS Gen. Jonathan Vance had given an order for such behavior to stop.

These recent developments are important because they bring home the gravity and insidious impact of this highly sexualized and abusive culture in the military and its members.

When you have nearly 1,000 employees admitting to be sexually victimized – your organization has a problem.

To be fair, the CDS has made efforts to deal with the situation. Op Honour, which was launched by the CDS last year, has resulted in 30 CAF members being punished and 97 investigations into other cases of inappropriate behavior are underway.

In the period of April to July 2016, a total of 148 incidents of harmful sexual behaviour were reported to the chain of command.

But there are still doubts as to whether the message is getting through.

The 148 reported incidents are far overshadowed by the 960 individuals who reported being victims of sexual assault in the StatsCan survey.

Why are fewer people coming forward to formally report these incidents?

What barriers could be preventing them? Are whistleblowers and victims afraid of reprisal? What protections could be provided to them? How much buy-in from officers if Op Honour getting?

Perhaps, we will get the answers to these questions through the class action lawsuits of Peffer and Rogers.


It was with sadness that Vanguard reported the demise of Capt. Thomas McQueen of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Capt. McQueen was killed Nov 28th when his CF-18 fighter jet crashed at the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range in Saskatchewan. He had been flying on a regular training mission.

McQueen had been in the RCAF since 2006,

Cold Lake is known as the busiest fighter training base in Canada providing training for all Canadian Forces pilots. The air weapons range covers almost 30,000 square kilometres spanning the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The crash is currently investigated.


In November, the Liberals announced its plan to buy 18 F/A18 Super Hornet jets from Boeing as an “interim purchase” to address its immediate fighter jet “capability gap.”

It was a controversial announcement since the purchase was being done even before the Federal Government had initiated its competition for the CF-18 replacement program.

And appears to have placed Boeing at an advantageous position over its rivals – primarily Lockheed Martin which is proposing the F-35 Lighting II fighter jet.

At least L-3 Communications was happy to announce early this month that it has memorandum of agreement with Boeing on the production and support service for the aerospace company’s Super Hornet fighter aircraft.

L-3 MAS is one of more than 560 Boeing suppliers across Canada.

The MOU comes at a time when L-3 MAS is celebrating its 30th anniversary of providing integrated technical support for the RCAF’s current fleet of CF-18 Hornets. L-3 MAS was awarded on October 31, 1986, an ITS contract for the CF-18 Hornet, a platform that was first produced by McDonnell Douglas before the company merged with Boeing in 1996.

One more thing, L-3 has undergone a branding transformation.

Effective December 31, 2016, the company will be known as L3 Technologies, Inc.


Well, that’s it for this week’s show.

This is your host Nestor Arellano, saying see you again next week

On the next episode of the Vanguard Radio.

Nov 30, 2016

The CAF’s Web site gets hacked, tips on taking care of your supply chain, and shooting first against ISIS.

These are the items we’ll be taking about on the Vanguard Radio today.

Nov 7, 2016

The CAF honours its first female Army colonel. Two Army officers are seeking formal recognition of the growing number of CAF members with Latino heritage. And the century-old Royal Military College goes under a thorough investigation

These are the stories we’ll be reviewing on the Vanguard Radio.


Early last week, cadets and personnel of the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario gathered to hear a somber announcement from Vice- Admiral Mark Norman.

The 140-year-old institution that has groomed the men and women who would become officers of the Canadian Armed Forces was being placed under a review.

By now the Special Staff Assistant Visit team has already begun their initial investigation which Adm. Norman said will cover the “climate, training, environment, culture and program construct at the RMCC.

Deployment of the SSAV comes at a time when the there are several concerns over suspected suicide and allegations of sexual misconduct in campus.

In recent months, there have been several reports of sexual misconduct at the college.

Court martial documents show that an officer cadet received a severe reprimand and a fine of $2,000 in May 2015 after pleading guilty to a charge of assaulting a fellow cadet without her consent in 2013.

The military is also investigating the sudden deaths between May and August of three RMCC cadets aged 19 to 22.

However, Adm. Norman wants to make it clear that the ongoing review is entirely about sexual misconduct.

“Yes that has been one of the contributors, he said

But the SSAV is not exclusively focused on that one dimension.

This is an investigation into a broader malaise, he stressed.

In his letter to the parents, the vice chief of staff said the SSAV team will examine the following areas:

* What are the significant stressors affecting RMCC cadets? Can cadets identify and seek help to deal with stress without being viewed as weak?

* What support mechanisms are available to cadets for their mental health support, physical fitness, and counselling? How are cadets being made aware of these?

* What is the state of moral of RMCC cadets, the military wing and the academic wing? What are the factors leading to this state of morale?

* Does the current command structure of the college allow it to carry out its mission?

The admiral said the findings of the team will help inform decision on what changes or remedies should be done.

The military hope to conclude the review by February next year.


Elizabeth Lawrie (Beth) Smellie was the daughter of a frontier physician who was a chief surgeon for the Canadian Pacific Railway as it was being built.

Despite her father’s discouragement, she left home to study nursing at Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland.

At the age of 25 in 1909, diploma in hand, she returned to Canada to as the night supervisor at McKellar General Hospital in her hometown, followed by a stint as a private nurse.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, Beth was one of the first to be accepted into the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps as a nursing sister.

No one probably knew it then, but Beth would become the first woman to reach in the rank of Colonel in the Canadian Army in 1944.

Few probably remember her accomplishments now, but she made several ground breaking strides in the field of medicine both in the service and in civilian life.

Beth is also known for organizing the Army’s Canadian Women’s Army Corp. in 1941.

You can find out more about bet in Lynn Capuano’s story: First female Army colonel oversaw creation of CWAC.


Two Canadian Army officers have taken it upon themselves to shine a light on the contributions of Latin-Canadian members in particular.

Captain Rey Garcia-Salas and Captain Milton Hoyos hope to see, beginning as early as next year, Latin-Canadians acknowledged with an event similar to Black History Month each February and Asian Heritage Month in May.

Both men were part of a CAF delegation to this year’s Festival Latino in Ottawa. They and about a dozen other CAF representatives took part in the event, reports Steven Fouchard in his recent Vanguard post.

A native of Guatemala, who joined the Army Reserve in the late 1990s, Capt. Garcia-Salas is hoping a formal event within CAF will also serve as a demonstration to young Latin-Canadians that the organization is both welcoming and an excellent place to build a rewarding career.

Read more about his story, in Steven’s post: Army officers propose formal Latino heritage recognition


Well, that’s it for now.

I hope you enjoyed our review of some of the stories we covered last week.

This is you host Nestor Arellano, saying see you again next week on, the Vanguard Radio.

Oct 31, 2016

Vanguard Radio Oct 26 2016


Thanks Terri.

The battle rages on in northern Iraq as Iraqi troops and Kurdish fighters continue their push to root out ISIS terrorists who once held sway in Mosul.

That and just what is the nature of Canada’s involvement in the assault on Mosul is one of stories in this week’s episode of Vanguard Radio.

But first, an update on the latest issue of the Vanguard Magazine



That’s right the digital format of the Oct-Nov 2016 issue of the Vanguard Magazine is out.

Our print issue will surely follow in the next few days.

This time around, Vanguard takes dives into the topic of underwater drones or Autonomous Underwater Vehicles.

The Navy is looking to procure AUVs for marine mine hunting operations.

Rick Gerbrecht of Atlas Elektronik Canada explains why underwater drones are perfect for such a task and also provides us a glimpse of the future of “drone swarms.”

While armed airbourne drones have been called the terror of the skies, unmanned aerial vehicles could be their life-saving counter-parts.

In the latest issue of Vanguard Magazine, Ken Chadder and Kevin Young of Hexagon Safety and Infrastructure, talk about the critical role that drones will play in the planning of real-time emergency response.

For this issue, our Game Changers are: Heather Pilot, president of business consulting firm Pilot Hill and lead organizer of the Best Defence Conference; 

Bodo Gospodnetic, president of Dominis Engineering Ltd., a pioneer in the design, machining and measurement of marine propellers, water jet impellers, and hydro turbine runners;

and George Palikaras, founder and CEO of Metamaterial Technologies.

Be sure to check out the latest Vanguard Magazine you’ll find  the link to it at the bottom or our web site.


On Oct 17, Iraqi government troops and Kurdish Peshmerga forces moved in on Mosul to dislodge ISIS terrorists that have been holding the northern Iraqi city since last year.

The Iraqi troops and the Kurds are being backed by a US-led coalition which also includes Canadian forces.

You’ll find some of our earlier accounts of the battle in the stories Major Move Mosul and ISIS sleeper cells launch counterattack.

But what many Canadian would like to know is the nature of involvement of the Canadian Armed Forces personnel in the operation.

Are our soldiers involved in armed combat or not?

Last Week, photos surfaced on social media which gave the impression that they are in the front lines.

Pictures appearing on Twitter showed men in Canadian uniforms apparently setting up heavy weapons or manning armoured vehicles.

Accompanying reports said they were helping Kurdish fighters in an area east of Mosul.

In our recent story Are Canadian in the front lines in Mosul, the reaction of Defence Chief Harjit Sajjan has been cryptic.

While he did not question the photos, he also did not clearly say if Canadian troops were involved in combat.

Under Operation Impact, the Canadian Armed Forces provide training and assistance to the Iraqi security forces.

We support the Coalition with highly skilled personnel, and provide support to Coalition air and intelligence efforts.


Canada is at the forefront of international efforts to defeat Daesh and to address the significant security, humanitarian, and political challenges it poses.


But right from the start, the role of Canadian troops was stated by the Liberal government to be non-combative.

Has this role somehow changed to active battle involvement?


We think Canadians deserve to know.

The government needs to be more transparent

Canadians shouldn’t be kept in the dark about this and left to find out what’s happening really happening through Twitter.




That’s it for this episode of Vanguard Radio.

We hope you enjoyed our recap of some of the developments we have been following this week.

Vanguard will continue to monitor the unfolding events in Mosul as well as the latest reports from the defence industry.

This is your host, Nestor Arellano

Saying see you again next week on the Vanguard Radio










Aug 9, 2016

Lockheed Martin's F-35 A Lighting II fighter is designated "combat ready" by the United States Air Force. However, the fate in Canada controversial stealth-capable fighter is still up in the air.

Work begins in compiling and reviewing more than 20,000 submissions from Canadians who the government to hear their say on the country's upcoming Defence Policy Review. And Canadian troops are off to a number of military exercises and competition around the globe.

These and more and discussed in this episode of the Vanguard Podcast


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May 23, 2016

In this episode of the Vanguard Podcast, we report on the Canadian Armed Forces' contributions to the multinational coalition efforts against ISIL which includes the deployment of three CH-146 Griffon helicopters and an intelligence centre in Iraq.

Bad news for the Navy, two Victoria-class submarines are grounded once more due to faulty welding.

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