Serving – From behind the lens


SLt K.B McHale-Hall, MARPAC Public Affairs Office ~

They are the rarely seen faces behind the camera taking photos of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployments, events and people at work on base.

However, the imagery technicians from Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) Imaging Section do far more than just digitally capture the faces of the forces.

Manifested in the recently released CAF Unclassified Imagery Instructions, imagery technicians are at the forefront of most operations, logging in countless hours behind the scenes, serving in ways you may not expect.

The new set of guidelines

Last year, the Unclassified Imagery Instructions were revised and signed, providing guidance to the CAF, public affairs and imagery technician trade.

The latest release addresses the services that can be offered, the speed at which imagery can be required, and the ever-evolving technology available, all established in standard operating procedures.

Services include, but are not limited to, imagery in support of operations; intelligence gathering on operations; fire and flood investigations; photographing through still and video events such as departures and homecomings of ships; helping in the assessment of weapons systems performance; creating visual training aids; documenting change of command ceremonies; and producing physical media from imagery files.

Meeting the mission

Imagery Technicians are trained to execute all imagery needs identified, but requests may outweigh resources available. That’s where the National Imagery Service Priority plays a vital role. It breaks down nine categories in order of priority: operations and exercises, investigations, intelligence, public affairs, engineering, support to training, historical, production and research, and general.

Local units and Commanders can then use the National Imagery Service Priority as guidance to prioritize or limit services based on the existing operational tempo or manning limitations.

“Our main priority remains operations and exercises and intelligence gathering, all while supporting Public Affairs,” said MWO Brian Leonard, the NO2PA Imaging Services Officer, confirming their primary function coincides with the priority list.

In accordance with the recent directives, MARPAC Imaging is now delegating certain tasks in order to avoid being overburdened. They now provide equipment and/or training as requested. Units are advised to use their Unit Public Affairs Representatives (UPARs) for more routine occurrences, such as medals, awards, and junior level promotions.

Individual services for members such as executive portraits, media photos, passports and visa photos continue to be supported and are available by appointment.

Executive portraits are reserved for senior ranks after relocation, promotion, or change in position. However, during the National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign, Imaging Services offers members the opportunity to have their photos taken in uniform with family members (dogs included), for a charitable donation.

Requesting imagery

When requesting CAF produced images, be advised not all images and video are stored locally for distribution. Personal media photos are not available for release to members. Imagery selected for retention is rated and sent to the National Defence Imaging library in Ottawa; other imagery is locally archived relative to the location the images were taken, and retained for set time limits.

If you are aware of the correct source for an image, then contact that source. If in doubt as to the source, then contact Imaging Services for assistance.

Members with imaging questions or requests should visit the MARPAC Imaging Services intranet page for more information. The Imagery Request or Work Order form (CF 315) is accessible through the site. It is highly recommended requests be submitted well in advance, with a minimum of 72 hours’ notice for still photography and two weeks for video dependent on the project, to ensure adequate time to book the service.


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