Canada assumes IMETOC lead supporting the NATO Response Force

A woman poses with a NATO flag while military staff stand in the background.
Carmen Snyder, Director, Directorate of Meteorology and Oceanography at Canadian Forces Intelligence Command, at a ceremony with the Dutch Defence Joint Meteorological Group. Photo: DND/CAF

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On February 22, 2018, Canada assumed the role of Integrated Meteorological and Oceanographic (IMETOC) Lead Nation to provide dedicated meteorological and oceanographic support, data, and products to the NATO Response Force (NRF).

“It’s no small feat to provide fulsome meteorological and oceanographic products anytime and anywhere in the world, but Canada has the intelligence capabilities and expertise to meet this need. This is a significant contribution to allied efforts seeking global stability, and an important step in strengthening intelligence sharing relationships with our NATO partners,” said Rear-Admiral Scott Bishop, Commander of Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (CFINTCOM).

Working with Environment and Climate Change Canada, CFINTCOM will provide data and products describing current and forecasted meteorological and oceanographic conditions to help the NRF exploit the best window of opportunity to plan, execute, support and sustain military operations.

These products may include significant weather, atmospheric temperatures, flight level winds, and wave heights and can be tailored to a specific mission or exercise as requested by NATO.

“Due to the unpredictable nature of where the NRF can deploy, the lead nation must be able to adjust their thinking and have an established global model for producing value-added meteorological and oceanographic products for any region in the world,” said Ms. Carmen Snyder, Director, Directorate of Meteorology and Oceanography at CFINTCOM. “Canada is certainly positioned to do that, and we’re looking forward to taking on this leadership role.”

The NRF is a highly ready and technologically advanced, multinational force that NATO can deploy quickly, wherever needed. The NRF has the overarching purpose of responding to an emerging crisis, whether for collective defence purposes or for other crisis-response operations.

It therefore needs to have the most accurate, timely and relevant information describing the meteorological and oceanographic aspects of their operational environment. NATO has limited meteorological or oceanographic assets, and relies on member nations to provide the bulk of meteorological and oceanographic information and resources.

Canada succeeds the Netherlands in this role and assumes its responsibilities until December 31, 2019.

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