Canada-United States Regional Joint Task Force Conference

Friday June 22, 2012

What is it?

The Canada-United States Regional Joint Task Force Conference formed in 2008 out of an emerging requirement by the militaries of the United States and Canada to improve operational and tactical links between Army North and Canada Command. Army North is responsible to U. S. Northern Command for bi-national planning and coordination with Canadian Forces to support national emergencies on either side of our common 5,500 mile border.

As the longest undefended border in the world, with an average daily trade of over $1.5 billion, protecting citizens and the economies of both countries is of paramount importance. If called upon, Canada Command with its six regional Joint Task Forces and USNORTHCOM with its U.S. Army Component, U.S. Army North stand ready to do this mission.

What has the Army done?

Army North's trusted partnership with Canada Command and it's six regionally focused Joint Task Forces in support of domestic and continental operations couldn't be stronger. Each year, Army North co-hosts with Canada Command a conference at either the Commander or Chiefs' of Staff level. At the first Canada-United States Regional Joint Task Force Conference in 2008, the Canada United States Civil Assistance Plan was signed between the two nations in support of reinforcing each country's ability to deal with disasters. Other conferences have explored bi-national exercise planning and consequence management operations in a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear environment. The Army through its training and exercise programs with Canadian Forces have bolstered this capability and levels of interoperability.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

Army North advocates and liaises with the National Guard, Reserves and active duty Army components for exercises that support improved interoperability with our Canadian counterparts. Within our Homeland Defense and Security Cooperation efforts, the year's Canada-United States Regional Joint Task Force Conference efforts will focus on combined training opportunities that support the Canada "United States Civil Assistance Plan and the newly signed Canada-United States Combined Defense Plan.

Why is this important to the Army?

Our Canadian Army partners are steadfast NATO allies and have fought side by side with us during operations throughout our histories. The basic tenants of army to army cooperation date back to the support each nation gave to each other in World War II against the Axis powers.

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Senior Leaders are Saying

"The Army's not really changing, per say. The Army will still be very committed to doing three major things that it has always done for this country. We have the strongest, most prominent, most effective force in the world. A strong Army is a deterrent to future conflicts, and we want to continue that. We want to do everything we can do to prevent future wars, and a strong Army sends a strong message across the board. We will continue to have a strong Army, a very capable, very effective force."

- Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal, in a recent interview, emphasized that Army is adapting to become a stronger, better, more modern and agile force, one that will always be committed to keeping America safe.

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What They're Saying

"It makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up when you're talking to this guy and you can't get there soon enough. Now we can look at their video, so it's going to increase the speed in which we can do things, react on things, so hopefully when you get there you can at least stop it. You don't want to not be able to help that guy. If I can keep the ground forces coming back to the forward operating base every day, it's a win."

- Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joshua Wanaka, Apache instructor pilot, referring to supporting the Soldiers on the ground in combat.

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