2012-13 Annual Conference

"Yesterday's War and Tomorrow's Army:
Connecting Afghanistan Experience to Training Modernization"

30-31 January 2013
Wu Conference Centre, 6 Duffie Drive,
UNB Fredericton

Featuring keynote address by Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Commander, Canadian Army
Major-General Steve Bowes, Commander, Land Force Doctrine and Training System Headquarters

Past, Present, and Future Reality

Today’s Canadian Army is wealthy in operational experience from Afghanistan. However, integrating recent lessons must balance against the challenge of incorporating new technologies, modernizing training and preparing the next generation of leaders and soldiers for future missions. This year’s Gregg Centre-Combat Training Centre Annual Conference considers which lessons from Afghanistan are worth remembering and assimilating into the Canadian Army training system.

Day 1 will feature papers and presentations looking back on ten years of Canadian and NATO best practices, new technologies, organizational issues and problems that emerged from operations in Afghanistan and especially Kandahar. The aim is to promote a common understanding of about what happened during Canada’s most recent war and an open discussion about successes and failures.

Day 2 will consist of smaller workshops to consider questions of whether, where and how Afghanistan experience can be employed to prepare Canadian soldiers for the future. Tentative workshop topics are listed below. Participants may register for Day 1 only or the full conference, including the Day 2 workshop.

Future Multi-National Expeditionary Operations

Problems posed by failed or failing states remain among the most pressing international security challenges facing Canada and its allies. Experience in Afghanistan and other recent military interventions is changing how the international community reacts to the problem, but it is nevertheless probable that the Canadian Forces will be called upon to dispatch forces to help stabilize a failed state in the future.

These missions require cooperation with Foreign Affairs, the Canadian International Development Agency, Alliance partners, UN and other International Organizations in order to synchronize the “Whole of Government” or integrated approach. Before another such enterprise begins, the nation must honestly assess the last decade of operations in Afghanistan. New concepts have been tested and proven. Others have failed and require new thinking. This year's conference will bring those who served in Afghanistan in uniform or as civilians, together with academics and policy makers to discuss how the last ten years can positively shape the next ten.


Day 1

08:00-08:30 Registration & Coffee

08:30-0845 Welcome and Opening Remarks –
Dr. Marc Milner Gregg Centre Director, Col. M. Nixon, Commander, Combat Training Centre

0845-10:00 Panel 1: The Historians’ View

  • “Lessons of War: Organization Learning, Battlefield Experience, and the British Army, 1912-1914”
    Dr. Glenn Leonard, The Gregg Centre, University of New Brunswick
  • “The Role of Oral History in Recording Canada’s Experience in Afghanistan”
    Major James McKillip, PhD, Canadian Forces Directorate of History and Heritage
  • “The Writing of Medusa”
    Robert Caldwell, Canadian Forces Directorate of History and Heritage

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee

10:30 – 12:30 Keynote Panel: The Formation Level Perspective

  • “Afghanistan’s Influence on Canadian Army Training to Date”
    Major-General Steve Bowes, Commander, Land Force Doctrine and Training System Headquarters
  • “Canada’s Operational Lessons from Kandahar”
    Major-General John Vance, Strategic Joint Staff

12:30 - 13:00 Lunch

1300 – 14:30 Panel 3 – The View Beyond Kandahar

  • “The American View of Afghanistan”
    Colonel William Sternhagen, United States Army
  • “Will Canada’s Training and Mentoring Experience Matter in Future?”
    Lieutenant-Colonel Alex Ruff
  • “Canada Was Hardly Alone: Understanding the Challenge of Multi-lateral Military Operations”
    Dr. Stephen Saideman, Carleton University

1430 - 15:00 Coffee

15:00 – 16:30 Panel 4 – Canada’s Experience in Kandahar

  • “Afghanistan Intelligence Lessons Learned”
    Dr. David Charters, The Gregg Centre, University of New Brunswick
  • “Few Tours Alike: The Gamut of Canadian Infantry Experience in Afghanistan”
    Dr. Lee Windsor, The Gregg Centre, University of New Brunswick
  • “Influence and Information Operations in Kandahar”
    Major Andrew Gault, Land Forces Doctrine and Training Systems

16:30 – 17:00 Concluding remarks

19:00 – 20:30 Evening Keynote Address and Public Lecture

  • Canada’s Army and the Afghanistan Experience
    Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Commander, Canadian Army

Day 2 Syndicate Discussion Panels

09:00-9:15 Opening Remarks, Dr. Lee Windsor, Lieutenant-Colonel Dwayne Parsons

9:15-12:00 Syndicate Workshop

Participants will be divided into syndicates to discuss the challenges and prepare recommendations

Panel 1 “Afghan Lessons in Individual and Collective Training?”

Panel 2 “Afghan Lessons, Training Simulation and Advanced Learning Technologies”

Panel 3 “Afghanistan Relevance to Future Tasks”

Panel 4 “Training for Multi-National Joint Operations”

Panel 5 “Stability Operations and Whole of Government Lessons”

Panel 6 “Adapting to New Equipment and Technologies ”

10:00:10:30 Coffee Break

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-16:00 Syndicate Presentations (30 minutes each)
Syndicates present their findings and recommendations

14:30-14:45 Coffee Break

16:00-16:20 Closing Remarks - Cdr CTC and Director, GC.