10/07/2013 02:39 EDT | Updated 12/07/2013 05:12 EST

Defence review aims to redirect $1B a year in spending

The Department of National Defence has launched a top-down review of how it manages its back office with a goal of finding about a billion dollars a year in savings it can reinvest in operations and training.

The so-called Defence Renewal initiative was launched in the summer of 2012, but really took flight after Tom Lawson took over as chief of the defence staff. One of his goals was finding "more teeth and less tail," as prime minister Stephen Harper put it.

After more than a year of review, the Defence Department Monday laid out a five-year plan that will see activities like maintenance, information technology, contracting and personnel management be reviewed and realigned.

Defence planners expect these and other similar efforts to result in significant manpower savings. Planners say they expect to be able to reassign between 2,800 and 4,800 military and civilian personnel.