Department of National Defence

The Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence:
Canada’s Defence Team

Defending Canada and protecting Canadians is the Government’s most fundamental responsibility. Together, the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) form the Defence Team. Consisting of approximately 95,000 CAF personnel, and approximately 24,000 civilian employees, we are responsible for protecting Canada and defending its sovereignty; defending North America in partnership with the United States; and contributing to international peace and security around the globe.

On any given day in Canada, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command have thousands of personnel standing ready to defend Canada and its interests at home and abroad.

This past June, Canada released its new defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, an ambitious yet realistic plan that outlines the Government of Canada’s defence priorities for the next 20 years. This policy will enable an agile, multi-purpose combat-ready military, operated by highly trained, well equipped, and well supported CAF members. It also includes new investments in critical areas such as space, cyber and remotely piloted systems as well as intelligence and Special Operations Forces, to meet Canada’s defence needs now and into the future.

This policy presents a new vision for defence that will ensure Canada is:

Strong at home, with a military ready and able to defend its sovereignty, and to assist in times of natural disaster, support search and rescue, or respond to other emergencies;

Secure in North America, active in a renewed defence partnership in NORAD and with the United States; and

Engaged in the world, with Defence doing its part in Canadian contributions to a more stable and peaceful world.

Alongside our closest ally, the United States, the CAF monitors and defends North America’s airspace and maritime areas through the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD). We carry out training and exercises together, and remain highly interoperable to meet any challenges.

In addition to domestic operations—which include search and rescue, and support to civil authorities at home—the CAF works with our whole of government partners to contribute to international peace and security by carrying out the full spectrum of operations. These operations include humanitarian assistance, stabilization missions, and contributing to international coalitions on multi-national operations.

This year, our nation and our military are celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. This milestone is an opportunity for Canadians around the world to connect with our history, celebrate our diversity, honour our Aboriginal, French and English heritage, reflect on our achievements and build lasting legacies for the future. As part of this legacy, the CAF continues to highlight and showcase our proud history of defending Canada, our allies and partners, and our values both at home and abroad.