From 16 to 20 November 2022, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee Admiral Rob Bauer was in Canada, where he met with Canadian Armed Forces officials and civilian representatives. Admiral Bauer gave a lecture at the Canadian Forces College (CFC), visited the Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT), and observed training activities at the 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. He joined Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, for the announcement of Canada’s proposal for the location for the North American Regional Office of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA).
Starting his visit with an address to the Joint Command and Staff Programme and National Security Programme at the CFC, Admiral Bauer spoke about the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Euro-Atlantic security and the duty of democratic nations to uphold the international rules-based order. He also addressed the explosions in Poland on 15 November 2022. Admiral Bauer stressed that good leadership is a combination of knowledge and character.
On 17 November, in his meeting with the Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff, General Eyre, Admiral Bauer highlighted the ongoing efforts of the Alliance in deterrence and defence as well as the ongoing initiatives to enhance the preparedness and resilience of national armed forces. “I support the vision for the Canadian Armed Forces with more inclusiveness, transparency and accountability. Having a diverse, inclusive workforce helps ensure success on the battlefield. In essence, what we do at the NATO Headquarters every day – bringing together 30 nations and trying to find a common way forward – is not that different from what military leaders do with their units every day. We wear a uniform not because we believe we are all the same… Nor that we should be all the same. We wear a uniform because we believe in the power of the collective. We believe in the power of bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures, with different skillsets… to make sure we get the best of what they have to offer”, said the Chair.
This was followed by a meeting with the Chief Professional Conduct and Culture, Lieutenant General Jennie Carignan. Their discussions focussed on gender issues and culture change within the Canadian Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Admiral Bauer commended the Canadian Armed Forces for leading by example in this field and for promoting NATO’s agenda for Women, Peace, and Security.
Admiral Bauer also visited the 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, where he was briefed on the high readiness training in progress and future deployment to the NATO Task Force in Latvia. He was also able to observe a demonstration of a wet gap crossing by the 2 Combat Engineer Regiment. “Canada is actively strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence by contributing troops to and by leading the multinational battlegroup in Latvia”, noted the Chair.
Later on, Admiral Bauer joined Defence Minister Anand at the Canadian Forces Base Halifax for the announcement of Canada’s offer for the North American Regional Office of DIANA in Halifax. “By hosting the Regional Office, Canada supports adaptation and innovation at NATO. The regional office will be a focal point in the years to come and connect start-ups, researchers and industry from North America to lead innovation and help maintain NATO’s technological edge”, added the Admiral.
Following the announcement, the Chair embarked on an Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship, one of the specialised ships used by the Canadian Navy to patrol national waters. “The Arctic is strategically relevant to NATO and with its unique knowledge about the region and its presence there, Canada is making valuable contributions to NATO’s role in the region. We are working together to make sure the Arctic remains free and open”, underlined the Chair, and emphasised the importance of Canada for NATO in the Arctic in a conversation with Commander MARLANT, Rear Admiral Brian Santarpia.
This weekend, Admiral Bauer will continue his programme at the 2022 Halifax International Security Forum. He will speak at a plenary session on winter resilience.