Staying Interoperable. Operations in Afghanistan for the past 12 years have helped American and Canadian forces become as interoperable as they’ve ever been, both with their equipment and their personnel , Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson says at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event. “The challenge is to capture that in doctrine,” he says. Lawson notes that the long-term, real-life operations have helped bring the two together in ways that traditional training hadn’t previously, so he hopes that maintaining high-level cooperation on large-scale exercises will keep the two militaries as close as they are now. “Tactically, I think that will come easily, but we’ve been engaged at the very highest levels operationally and strategically as well, and that will come through some larger exercises. The Americans hold [Rim of the Pacific Exercise] of course off the West Coast, and Canada seeks to be and expects to be a very large part of RIMPAC and the senior leadership there. And also in our large exercise, JOINTEX, held every two years, we seek and I’m sure we’ll find a willing group of American leaders who will come up to help us with that."