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March 21, 2020

Members and families of Naval Personnel and Training Group,
Formation members and all,

Decisions about the RCN’s training program, and in particular those managed by the Naval Personnel and Training Group (NPTG), are being assessed on an ongoing basis taking into account the latest federal and provincial direction for mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The RCN is balancing the requirement to complete critical tasks and high readiness training in support of planned operations with the imperative of protecting the health and safety of our sailors, civilian employees and their families and loved ones. The RCN’s response, and in consequence NPTG’s, has been evolving so that it is aligned with direction issued by the Department of National Defence, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and guidance provided by federal and provincial Public Health Authorities.

When Operation LASER was first initiated in response to COVID-19 approximately a week ago, training was directed to carry on in support of critical Force Generation of trained personnel to supply our Fleets. As you can appreciate, the situation evolved very quickly and leadership have determined it is no longer prudent to continue with all core training as scheduled. As such, a phased shut down of RCN training, coordinated by NPTG, will begin. A few courses will continue until completion, either because they are critical to fill Force Generation (FG) requirements in the short term, or because personnel are training in isolated environments already (at sea, for example) and can safely complete their training within the next week. Force Generation is a necessary consideration as it supports the CAF’s operational effectiveness both at home and overseas for units deploying on mission critical tasks in support of the Government of Canada.

My goals with respect to our current programming is to ensure all our trainees are returned to their families where possible, take measures to preserve our Force, and ensure both Regular and Reserve members are available for any potential future taskings which the CAF may be asked to fulfill.

Units with high readiness commitments and standing tasks have adopted appropriate measures that enable them to continue to support these critical assignments. High readiness levels ensure responses to situations like Search and Rescue calls or other missions assigned to the RCN by the Government of Canada can be carried out. Be assured that personnel, both military and civilian, are being monitored and contingency planning is in place should signs of potential exposure to COVID-19 be reported. At this point, my goal is to minimize risk for sailors, civilians and their families wherever possible. More specific information will be communicated to personnel through their respective Chains of Command within the training system as courses are assessed and their status is updated.

I understand the importance of limiting contagion and mitigating risk wherever and whenever possible while remaining committed to maintaining levels of operational readiness that protect both the health of our sailors and civilian employees, and preserves our capacity to carry out the missions assigned to us by the Government of Canada.

For general information relevant to RCN and CAF members, COVID-19 updates are regularly issued on social media accounts (including Facebook) for CFB Halifax, CFB Esquimalt, NPTG, NAVRES, MARLANT, MARPAC, and the RCN that you and your family can easily access via the internet.

Yours Aye,

//original signed by//

J.R. Boyd
Captain (Navy)
Naval Personnel and Training Group