Department of National Defence

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

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) make up the largest federal government department. Currently, the Defence Team includes approximately:

  • 67,000 Regular Force members
  • 30,000 Reserve Force members
  • 25,000 civilian employees

CAF members serve at sea, on land, and in the air, with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, while defence civilians perform a number of critical enabling functions for both the CAF and DND.

At any given time, the Government of Canada can call upon the CAF to undertake missions for the protection of Canada and Canadians and to maintain international peace and stability. The Defence Team is prepared and equipped to advance Canadian international security objectives and to support our allies where our shared interests are at stake.

Canada continues to show its commitment to international peace and security by building defence relationships and enhancing military cooperation with countries around the world, and by addressing global crises and security threats with the United Nations (UN), our NATO Allies, and other international partners.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of NATO and since its inception, the CAF has deployed its personnel and assets where and when they have been needed. Every NATO mission since 1949 has included a Canadian contribution. The CAF continues to play a leadership role in NATO. We are leading a multinational battle group in Latvia as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic region, we currently have command of NATO’s mission in Iraq, and a Canadian is commanding the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.

The CAF is also involved in a number of other important missions abroad which includes Operation UNIFIER, our training and capacity building mission in Ukraine. The CAF’s commitment to Canada’s Middle East Strategy is demonstrated by operations focused on reducing terrorist threats, building partner capacity, and supporting the UN. Promoting peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region is achieved by deploying our maritime assets to participate in ex by deploying our maritime assets to participate in exercises and by contributing to the monitoring and deterrence of North Korean maritime sanctions evasion activities.

The world in which the CAF operates has changed significantly in recent years. In the face of these new and emerging threats and challenges, we continue to remain a strong and reliable defence partner, able to meet our international obligations.