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Canadian Forces

"Canadian Forces" (CF) refers to the combined branches of the military forces serving under Canada's Department of National Defence.

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Mission Canada's armed forces are charged to provide a multipurpose, combat-capable military service that is ready and able to:

  • protect Canada effectively from a direct military threat;
  • respond to terrorist activities
  • help Canadians during times of domestic crises caused by environmental or other disasters;
  • assist government agencies to handle civil emergencies, protect Canada's fisheries, interdict illegal drugs; provide search & rescue services
Canadian Forces also have a long history of leadership in multi-national peacekeeping[?] and humanitarian relief efforts worldwide.

Force structure Defence is one of the few Canadian national institutions that are solely under federal authority. All forces ultimately report to Canada's National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa, which is responsible to the Minister of National Defence. The military chain of command leads to the Chief of Defence Staff while civilian personnel report to the Deputy Minister of National Defence. Regular forces currently stand at approximately 60,000 personnel. In 2000, the government committed to an increase in Army Reserves to 18,500 with plans for greater integration of regular and reserve forces. CF troops are supported by 19,000 full-time civilian employees.

The structure of the Canadian Forces originated with a multi-service model based on British traditions. In 1964, an act of Parliament combined the army, navy and air force into a unified force under a single command. Unification[?] was highly controversial at the time and, since then, the branches have regained much of their distinct character and organization.

Canadian Forces includes Land Forces Command or LC, Maritime Command or MC, Air Command or AC, Communications Command or CC, Training Command or TC), Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Rangers.

CF Land Forces Command

Canadian army brigades are administered through four geographically determined area commands:
  • LC Atlantic Area based in Halifax NS
  • LC Quebec Area based in Montreal
  • LC Central Area based in Toronto
  • LC Western Area based in Edmonton.
In each command (except Atlantic), regular force troops comprising a Mechanized Brigade Group (CMBG) are supported by reserve forces in 9 brigade groups. Regular forces in the Atlantic command are based in the Combat Training School at Gagetown.

CF Maritime Command[?]

Canadian naval forces are deployed through bases in Esquimault BC on the west coast and in Halifax NS on the east coast. The Canadian fleet is comprised of 12 multi-role patrol frigates, 4 area air defence destroyers, 4 long-range patrol submarines and 12 coastal defence vessels, supported by supply ships, surveillance aircraft and anti-sub helicopters. The vessels are more or less evenly divided between the two bases.

CF Air Command[?]

CF air wings are located at 13 bases across Canada under the direction of 1-Canadian Air Division and Canadian NORAD Region based in Winnipeg MB. A Canadian component of the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force is based in Geilenkirchen, Germany. Wings vary in size from several hundred personnel to several thousand. Principal aircraft include the CF-18 Hornet tactical fighter, CP-140 Aurora/Arcturus long-range patrol aircraft, CH-146 Griffon tactical transport helicopters and CC-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
 

JTF2

JTF2 is recruited from all CF units for counter-terrorism and special forces operations.

RCMP

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada's federal police force, also works cooperatively with regular forces in counter-terrorism, drug interdication and international peacekeeping missions.

Canadian Rangers[?]

The Rangers are a part-time reservist organization providing surveillance and patrol services in Canada's most remote areas.

History Canadian troops in colonial times served as regular members of British forces and in local militia groups. After Confederation in 1867, Canada's forces remained under British command until the turn of the 20th century. Canadian militia defended their homeland in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and in the Fenian Raids. A Canadian expeditionary force assisted Britain in the Boer War.

Canadian soldiers, sailors and aviators came into their own through conspicuous service in World War I, World War II and Korea.

Since 1947, the CF has undertaken 73 operations worldwide. In 2002, nearly 3000 Canadian troops were on active duty in 11 additional operations including the international war on terrorism in Afghanistan and the NATO stabilization force[?] (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Canadian regular and reserve troops are a visible and respected force at home as well. In 2001 alone, the Canadian Forces responded to more than 8,000 search and rescue incidents and helped to save more than 4,500 lives.

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