The Department of National Defence’s Mapping and Charting Establishment (MCE) was recently presented with an Award of Excellence at ESRI Canada’s annual ESRI Regional User Conference in Ottawa. Alex Miller, President of ESRI Canada, the GIS provider in Canada, presented the Award in recognition of how the MCE’s deployed Geomatics Support Teams have used ArcGIS technology in support of the Canadian Forces operations. More than 150 GIS professionals were on hand for the presentation, which was one of the highlights of the conference.
“The Award of Excellence is going to a very deserving organization that is dedicated to supporting Canadian Forces Commanders and the conduct of military operations through the provision of geomatics products and services,” said Mr. Miller. The role of the MCE is to provide geospatial information and geomatics support to the Canadian Forces. MCE distinguishes itself from civilian mapping agencies through its expertise and focus on military applications of geomatics, provision of worldwide data coverage, and the ability to fuse geospatial information with other types of data and intelligence. MCE supports all branches of the Canadian Forces, in training and in operations, from its bases in Ottawa, Halifax, and Esquimalt, and through deployed Geomatics Support Teams. MCE has been very active in providing dedicated geomatics support to deployed operations and exercises. MCE continues to support NATO led operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Every major Canadian Forces deployment now includes at least one dedicated Geomatics Support Team that is tailored to provide close geomatics support either to the Task Force Commander and/or any other Maritime, Air, Land, or Special Forces components.
A Geomatics Support Team typically consists of four members from Master Corporal to Warrant Officer. Their primary tool is the Deployable Geomatics Support System, consisting of high-end commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware mounted in rugged transportable boxes and able to operate in a wide range of environments. The Geomatics Support Team can operate and move around the battlefield using its own vehicles and integral power generation.